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Coalition Updates

                                         

2021

February

Please find the current legislative update and log for this week.   Please note the committees that are scheduled for this week.

Fire Service Coalition - Legislative Log[...]
Microsoft Word document [43.6 KB]
Fire Service Coalition - Legislative Log[...]
Microsoft Word document [43.6 KB]

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time, and had a safe and relaxing holiday season.  The total number of confirmed cases in the state has risen to 578,091, including 15,273 deaths.  This includes 23,773 cases and 145 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (MIOSHA) investigation into COVID-19 safety within the Michigan House found that a “correctable deficiency” existed with regards to some legislators not wearing masks.  In response, House Business Office Director Doug Simon asserted that there was no authority to condition the right of lawmakers to vote on bills and participate in the legislative process on the wearing of masks.  Following Simon’s response, MIOSHA responded that they strongly recommend legislators and staff be required to follow CDC guidelines, and that they consider the complaint to be “closed at this time.”

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) was notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that due to ongoing winter storm conditions in Kentucky and Tennessee, vaccine shipments this week continue to be delayed.  This includes both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this week that approximately $52.5 million in grant funding was awarded to nearly 6,000 small businesses through the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program.  The grants will help businesses retain over 52,500 jobs.  More information is available here.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • The CDC released highly anticipated guidance for reopening K-12 schools. The indicators and thresholds in the operational strategy replace the core indicators in the previous Indicators for Dynamic School Decision-Making. A comparison of the former and new indicators and thresholds is provided here. The guidance, as anticipated, was met with mixed reviews from stakeholders who do not believe the guidance goes far enough, to critics who feel this is either long overdue or overreaching.  
  • COVID-19 czar Jeff Zients told governors that the weekly vaccine supply going out to states is increasing by more than 20 percent to 13.5 million doses this week. This announcement followed a letter from the National Governors Association sent yesterday, asking President Biden "for enhanced reporting and coordination between federal and state governments on COVID-19 vaccine distribution efforts."
  • The CDC has published new science briefs, including on the transmission of coronavirus in K-12 schools and on options to reduce quarantine, here
  • The CDC is organizing a virtual National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Feb. 22- Feb. 24 that will bring together practitioners from national, state, tribal, local, and territorial levels who are engaged in vaccinating communities across the nation. 
  • The FDA posted the webpage, COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Surveillance, which provides an overview of the Agency's active and passive systems used to monitor the safety of authorized COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research is conducting these surveillance efforts in collaboration with the CDC, CMS, the VA, and other academic and large non-government healthcare data systems.
  • Last week, the FDA issued an EUA for a monoclonal antibody combination for the treatment of mild to moderate COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age or older weighing at least 40 kilograms) who test positive for coronavirus and who are at high risk for progressing to severe COVID-19.
  • The FDA informed the drugmaker Moderna that it can put up to 40 percent more coronavirus vaccine into each of its vials. A 14-dose vial load could increase the nation’s vaccine supply by as much as 20 percent.
  • The most recent COVID-19 Science Update from the CDC is here
  • The DoD has put about 3,600 service members on orders to be ready to deploy around the country to help with mass vaccination efforts.
  • U.S. Navy officials announced that three sailors aboard the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • FEMA launched its first mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in Los Angeles and Oakland today. Inclement weather delayed the opening of similar sites in Texas. 
  • As part of his National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness, President Biden announced a series of new actions to expand COVID-19 testing. These actions include: Expanding COVID-19 testing for schools and underserved populations; Increasing domestic manufacturing of testing supplies; and Rapidly increasing virus genome sequencing.
  • President Biden is set to announce that the U.S. will provide $4 billion between 2021 and 2022 to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance for the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, the innovative financing instrument of the COVAX Facility, which supports access to safe and effective vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income economies. 
  • A transcript from the most recent White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing is here
  • The USDA, the FDA, and the CDC published a statement underscoring that there is no credible evidence of food or food packaging associated with or as a likely source of viral transmission of COVID-19.
  • The CDC has published and updated a number of COVID-19 and vaccine materials and resources on its dashboard, and you can keep track of vaccinations here. Please continue to check these for information on things like recommended quarantine periods and return-to-work guidance. To highlight a few of the recent updates:
  • CDC's weekly COVIDView report has been replaced with the COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review. This new webpage and newsletter will highlight key data from CDC’s COVID Data Tracker, narrative interpretations of the data, and visualizations from the week. The new Weekly Review will also summarize important trends in the pandemic and bring together CDC data and reporting in a centralized location. 
  • There are multiple relevant hearings coming up in Congress:
  • The NIH announced it is funding a new study that will evaluate the effects of remdesivir in pregnant women who have been prescribed the drug to treat COVID-19. The study, which will be conducted at 17 sites in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico, aims to determine how pregnant women metabolize the drug and whether there are any potential side effects.
  • 331 tests and sample collection devices are authorized by the FDA under EUA. These include 247 molecular tests and sample collection devices, 70 antibody tests and 14 antigen tests. There are 37 molecular authorizations that can be used with home-collected samples. There is one molecular prescription at-home test, one antigen prescription at-home test and one over-the-counter (OTC) at-home antigen test.
  • Top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote a letter to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky pressing for more information on the agency’s guidance for reopening schools. Committee Ranking Member Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Morgan Griffith (R-VA), wrote that 89 percent of the nation’s school children, or over 65.3 million students, currently live in areas that would be considered high transmission areas based on the new guidance.
  • HHS and the White House COVID-19 response team have released the weekly state profile snapshot. The purpose of this report is to develop a shared understanding of the current status of the pandemic at the national, regional, state, and local levels.
  • The DoD published its most recent COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Installation Status Update.
  • DHS announced it has seized more than 11 million counterfeit N95 masks meant for frontline workers in recent weeks, including more than 1 million on Wednesday.
  • The CDC is organizing a virtual National Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Feb. 22- Feb. 24 that will bring together practitioners from national, state, tribal, local, and territorial levels who are engaged in vaccinating communities across the nation. 

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

Michigan’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard is available here.  A vaccine locator can be found here.  For more information on the vaccine, visit Michigan’s vaccine home page here.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

 

Please reach out if you have any questions and we will continue to keep you apprised of further updates. 

Attached is the current legislative update and new legislative log for this session.  Please pay close attention to the committee portion.  There are a number of relevant committees this week that are important to the fire services.

Legislative Update 2-15-21 thru 2-19-21.[...]
Microsoft Word document [58.4 KB]
Legislative Update 2-1-21 thru 2-12-21.d[...]
Microsoft Word document [66.8 KB]

January

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time, and had a safe and relaxing holiday season.  The total number of confirmed cases in the state has risen to 544,311, including 14,053 deaths.  This includes 22,567 cases and 134 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Kelley Cawthorne announced the addition of former State Representative Jason Sheppard to its advocacy team.  Sheppard, of Temperance, was elected to the House of Representatives three times by Monroe County voters, holding office from 2015–2021. He held several leadership positions during that time, including serving as House Majority Whip and chair of the House Government Operations Committee.

 

Michigan Legislature

The House Democratic Caucus announced that Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) will return to her role as caucus chair.  Additionally, the caucus announced that Rep. Matt Koleszar (D-Plymouth) would become the minority whip.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced details for her Michigan COVID Recovery Plan.  The proposal would direct $2 billion to schools and $225 million for business support programs.  Details include:

 

  • $90 million increase for vaccine distribution
  • $575 million for increased testing and tracing
  • $1.7 billion federal and $300 million in state funds to help schools provide an in-person learning option by March 1, as well as address learning loss caused by the pandemic
  • $225 million in funds for Michigan Economic Development Corporation programs:
    • Michigan Mainstreet Initiative
    • Michigan Microenterprise Support Initiative
    • Business Accelerator and Resiliency Initiative
  • Extension of unemployment benefits from 20 weeks to 26 weeks
  • Food assistance
  • Rental assistance
  • Creation of an Office of Rural Development
  • Property tax assistance

 

More details on the plan are attached.

 

The governor also announced a new epidemic order, effective February 1.  The order, which is attached, allows indoor service at bars and restaurants to resume.  Details include:

 

  • Bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity with up to 100 people.
  • Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table.
    • Outdoor tents with four sides are permitted under this rule.
  • Bars and restaurants must close by 10:00 p.m.
  • Contact information must be collected from customers for contact tracing purposes.

 

The state is also implementing a “MI COVID-19 Safer Dining” program.  The program allows food service establishments to become certified by having their ventilation system inspected and submitting the inspection report to the state indicating they are optimizing airflow.  Once certified, businesses will be featured on the Michigan.gov/covidsaferdining website and receive a copy of their certification to post at their establishment to alert diners of their participation.

 

The Whitmer administration announced the creation of several COVID-19 vaccine resources.  Michigan’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard is available here.  A vaccine locator can be found here.  For more information on the vaccine, visit Michigan’s vaccine home page here.

 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced it had identified the first case of a new COVID-19 variant in the state.  The variant, which is believed to be more contagious, was found in a Washtenaw County woman who had recently traveled to the United Kingdom, where the variant originated.

 

MDHHS also issued guidance encouraging colleges and universities to require COVID-19 testing for on- and off-campus students.  The guidance is attached.

 

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) cited 10 more businesses for COVID-19 violations.  Penalties associated with this round of violations will total more than $24,000.

 

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission suspended the licenses of two more businesses, bringing the total number of suspended liquor licenses to 37.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

 

Other

  • The U.S. is currently averaging more than 3,300 new COVID-19 deaths per day. The country has recorded more than 61,000 deaths from the disease just since the start of the month, which is approximately one American death from COVID-19 every 30 seconds.  New daily deaths have risen more than 30 percent in the last two weeks.

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

Michigan’s COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard is available here.  A vaccine locator can be found here.  For more information on the vaccine, visit Michigan’s vaccine home page here.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

MI COVID RECOVERY PLAN (2).pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [52.6 KB]
2021.01.19_Higher_Education_Testing_Guid[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [168.2 KB]
2021.01.22_Masks_and_Gatherings_order_71[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [307.7 KB]

please find the House standing policy and appropriations subcommittee assignments for the 2021-22 session.  Also attached is the most up-to-date House Republican Policy Office directory.

101st Legislature Appropriations Subcomm[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [417.0 KB]
fireworks bill 2.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [425.1 KB]
HRPO Committee and Contact Information.p[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [134.0 KB]

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