News & Events

Here you can learn about our latest projects and what's new at our's and other organizations.

May 2020

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Hollie Metts

Assistant to the State Fire Marshal

Bureau of Fire Services

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May 2020

Subject: COVID-19 Update - Training Moratorium Extended through 5/28/2020

 

 

 

LARA Fire Services

 
 
 
 

 

Subject: COVID-19 Update - Training Moratorium Extended through 5/28/2020

 
 
 
 

 

To: Michigan Fire Service

 
 
 
 

 

In accordance with the recommendations from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services designed to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and to align with Executive Directive 2020-70, all fire service examinations conducted by the Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) are postponed until after May 28, 2020.

To allow BFS staff an opportunity to review information regarding the severity and extent of the ongoing situation, rescheduling of examinations cannot be initiated until after May 28, 2020. All courses other than Fire Fighter I, II, and I & II are also suspended until after May 28, 2020 and will need to be rescheduled. Note: Course funding will not be lost if courses are rescheduled.

Further, effective immediately, in-person classroom portions of the Fire Fighter I, II, and I & II courses are suspended in order to keep students and instructors healthy. Alternatively, these classes may meet remotely – provided the lectures are done in an interactive format using a platform such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom Meeting, etc., and all students have access to the interactive format – and the practical portion of the course is held after May 28, 2020. If all Fire Fighter I, II, and I & II students do not have access to the interactive format, the class must be suspended until it is determined the threat of the COVID-19 is reduced.

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 


April 2020

Please see attached regarding firefighter training courses and exams over the next few weeks.  If you have any questions, please reach out to your region coordinator.

 

Stay safe and healthy!

 

Thank you,

 

 

Hollie Metts

Assistant to the State Fire Marshal

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March 2020

Attached is a memo regarding a national study that is being conducted in NFIRS on COVID-19 responses.  This memo will go out on GovDelivery later today.  Please share.

 

Take care,

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Good afternoon,

 

Please see the attached memo from Fire Marshal Sehlmeyer for information that we hope will assist fire departments in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 while providing emergency medical services within their communities – specifically regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) and planning for a COVID-19 response.  Feel free to share this information with anyone who may need it.

 

Thank you,

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May 2020

 

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May 2020


National Police Week Honors Police Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

This week is designated as National Police Week, which is a time to honor, remember and pay our respects to our fallen officers.

In 2019, there were 146 line of duty deaths, including one officer from Michigan. These officers who lost their lives protecting and serving others will have their names added to the national memorial in Washington D.C.

This year, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Michigan State Police honored its 53 fallen troopers with a virtual memorial service on Monday, May 4. To learn more about the MSP Fallen Trooper Memorial and our fallen troopers, click here.

To learn more about National Police Week, visit www.nleomf.org.

police week


Happy Mother’s Day

The Michigan State Police hopes our MSP moms and moms everywhere had a very special Mother’s Day!

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MSP Grateful for Community Support During COVID-19 Pandemic

With sanitizing products still in high demand, businesses across Michigan are making sure the State Police posts in their communities have access to items that will keep our first responders safe and healthy.

The Mt. Pleasant Sam’s Club donated 38 bottles of hand sanitizer – one for every patrol vehicle at the Mt. Pleasant Post – as well as alcohol-based surface wipes, while the Kerr Corporation in Romulus dropped off 10 cases of disinfecting wipes to the Metro South Post.

Mike’s Wrecker Service has made a number of disinfecting wipe drop offs to the Tri-City Post, while Camp Quality shared their hand sanitizer supply with both the Tri-City and Flint posts. Auburn Elementary School also donated hand sanitizer to the Tri-City Post.

The Jackson Post received face shields from RCO Engineering. The company shared a photo on LinkedIn saying, “Michigan State Police are always protecting us. It’s about time we started to protect them. You guys are rocking those face shields. Thank you for continuing to work and keeping us safe.”

Lowe’s in Delta Township donated two cases of disinfecting wipes to the Lansing Post.

Wise Men Distillery, Detroit City Distillery, Amway and Haviland all provided hand sanitizer to the Rockford Post while members of the Fifth District also received hand sanitizer from Amway.

Many of our favorite restaurants and community partners have provided food and snacks for our employees as well.  Included are:

  • Herman’s Boy, Little Caesars Pizza and North Kent Connect (Rockford Post)
  • Community Credit Union (Lakeview Post)
  • Kellogg, Biggby and the Dow Chemical Company (SEOC)
  • Frankenmuth Credit Union (Tri-City Post) (TriCity)
  • Saites Brothers Catering (SEOC)
  • Manistique resident (Manistique Outpost)

Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity. Together, we’ll get through this.


Read-Along with Trooper Ramey

With children spending more time at home, we know that filling their days can be challenging, but Tpr. Rachel Ramey of the Lansing Post is here to help!

Follow along with Trooper Ramey as she reads a new children’s book each Thursday on our Facebook page. You can watch last week’s reading of The Giving Tree here.

read


Heatstroke Can be Deadly for Children

Do you know that a child’s body temperature warms at a rate three to five times faster than an adult’s? This means that when a child is left alone in a car, it can lead to serious injury or death from a heatstroke, even in cooler temperatures.

You can prevent accidental heatstroke by keeping these safety tips in mind:

  • Never leave your child alone in a car.
  • Place your bag, briefcase or something else you’re sure to need in the backseat so you’ll notice your child.
  • Write yourself a note and place it where you’ll see it when you leave the vehicle.

If you see a child alone in a car, call 911.

For more heatstroke safety awareness tips, visit safekids.org/heatstroke.


Be Counted in the Census

census

There is still time to complete the 2020 Census!

The deadline to complete the census has been extended to October 31. Be sure to complete your Census online by August 10. Census workers will begin going door-to-door on August 11 to remind residents to complete the Census for households who have yet to submit theirs.

For additional details, visit michigan.gov/census2020.


Keep Michigan Safe

MichTip

If you see something suspicious, immediately call 9-1-1 for emergencies. For non-emergencies, suspicious activity can be reported to the MSP Michigan Intelligence Operations Center by phone at 1-855-MICH-TIP (855-642-4847) or online at www.michigan.gov/michtip, or via our mobile app.


Join the MSP

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Choose a career in public service; learn more at www.mi.gov/mspjobs.


Contact the MSP

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Contact us: Find your nearest MSP post at www.mi.gov/mspposts.


Download MSP Mobile

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MSP Mobile, a free mobile app, allows users to follow the MSP post that covers their area to receive breaking news and information.

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COVID-19 Resources

stay home

Do you have questions about COVID-19? Call the COVID-19 Hotline at 888-535-6136, email COVID19@michigan.gov or visit michigan.gov/coronavirus.


 
 
 

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This email was sent to rsvanhorn@charter.net using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Michigan State Police · P.O. Box 30634 · Lansing, MI 48909

 

Hi EveryoneDue to the COVID-19 restrictions put on by the Governor and the chance that she will extend the Stay Home ban, Don and myself have changed our meeting to a video conference call.
I talked to Nick and it is unsure whether the college will be open at the time of our meeting. Also I had a reservation at the campground there on the river. They are still closed and depending on what the Governor does after May 28th they may still be closed.

Any questions please call myself or Don.

Thank you

Rick
MFSIA Secretary

From: Michigan Executive Office of the Governor <mieog@govsubscriptions.michigan.gov>
Date: April 29, 2020 at 2:31:53 PM EDT
To: Melissa McKinley <mmckinley@kelley-cawthorne.com>
Subject: RELEASE: Governor Whitmer Announces “Futures for Frontliners,” a G.I. Bill Program for Essential Workers
Reply-To: mieog@govsubscriptions.michigan.gov



Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

 

1 

 

For Immediate Release:  

April 29, 2020 

Contact: press@michigan.gov 

 

Governor Whitmer Announces “Futures for Frontliners,” a G.I. Bill Program for Essential Workers 

Program Will Provide Tuition-Free Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Essential Workers; Governor Announces Other Initiatives to Protect Workers and Their Families During the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic 

 

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced a series of initiatives to help Michigan workers and their families during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the "Futures for Frontliners” program to provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who don’t have a college degree. This includes workers like the ones staffing our hospitals and nursing homes, stocking the shelves at grocery stores, providing child care to critical infrastructure workers, manufacturing PPE, protecting public safety, picking up trash, or delivering supplies. 

 

“The Futures for Frontliners program is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have risked their lives on the front lines of this crisis. This program will ensure tuition-free college opportunities and give these dedicated Michiganders an opportunity to earn a technical certificate, associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree,” Governor Whitmer said. “I want to assure all of our workers we will never forget those of you who stepped up and sacrificed their own health during this crisis. You’re the reason we’re going to get through this.” 

 

The “Futures for Frontliners” program is the first of its kind in the country, and was inspired by the federal government’s support of soldiers returning from World War II by providing educational opportunities. Frontline workers who take advantage of this program will help us reach Governor Whitmer’s goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a technical certificate or college degree from 45% to 60% by 2030.  The Governor stated that she looks forward to working on enacting her proposal with the bipartisan legislative coalition that helped pass Reconnect last month, the program to offer adults over 25 without college degrees tuition-free access to community college. 

 

Governor Whitmer also announced that she is expanding the state’s Workshare Program to allow employers to reduce employee hours to receive weekly unemployment insurance (UI) benefits as well as the additional $600 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefit. Both benefits will be funded through federal dollars. Through July, the program can act as supplemental pay for critical infrastructure workers by allowing them to collect the extra $600 per week. 

 

Governor Whitmer also called on leaders in Congress to support Sen. Gary Peters' Heroes Fund to provide hazard pay for frontline workers putting their lives on the line to ensure access to life-saving care, food, and other critical services during the pandemic. It is estimated that more than three million of these essential workers are currently on the job in Michigan. Supported by Sens. Stabenow and Peters, the Heroes Fund proposal would provide these workers with an additional $13 per hour, up to $25,000, with an additional potential recruitment incentive of up to $15,000 for essential medical workers.  

 

“No Michigander should have to worry about how to feed their family or pay rent during a crisis. And no Michigander should be scared to go to work,” said Governor Whitmer. “From the beginning, my team and I have been working around the clock to solve those problems for working families. And I will continue to fight for our working people long after this crisis is over.” 

 

 

 

Coalition Updates

                                         

May 2020

Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 52,350, including 5,017 deaths.  This includes 3,122 cases and 60 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Legislature

The Senate passed a bill package designed to ensure Michiganders are not penalized for expired driver’s licenses, ID cards, or vehicle registrations due to COVID-19.  SB 876, SB 877, and SB 878, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), would codify an executive order previously issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.  The legislation was passed on a 35-2-1 vote.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

The governor announced the second round of re-opening workgroups.  Areas included in this group include:

 

  • Amateur Sports (both adult and youth)
  • Churches/Community Centers/Community Events
  • Congregate Care Facilities (criminal justice settings, nursing homes, adult foster care, homeless shelters, etc.)
  • Financial Institutions
  • Health and Wellness:
    • Behavioral Health (counselors, substance health disorder, autism, psychology, etc.)
    • Wellness (massage therapy, medical spas, etc.)
  • Insurance
  • Public Transit
  • Traditional Office Setting

 

Subsequent workgroups to be established include:

 

  • Early Childhood/Home Visits
  • Entertainment (professional sports, concerts, theaters, bowling alleys)
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Libraries
  • Rideshare/Taxi/Limo
  • Travel/Tourism/Hospitality
  • Zoos

 

For more information on workgroups, please contact a Kelley Cawthorne lobbyist.

 

The Michigan Court of Claims declined to issue a preliminary injunction against of Gov. Whitmer’s emergency orders in an initial case brought by Michigan United for Liberty.  In the ruling, the court “acknowledges that the authority granted under the [Emergency Management Act of 1976] is undoubtedly broad in some respects,” but ultimately found that the governor was within her power.  The ruling is attached.  The Court of Claims has not yet issued a ruling in the legislature’s lawsuit against the governor.

 

Federal

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

 

  • HHS officially announced its partnership with Phlow Corporation of Richmond, Virginia, to expand pharmaceutical manufacturing in the U.S. for use in producing medicines needed during the COVID-19 response and future public health emergencies. The Phlow-led team will provide immediate, U.S.-based capacity to produce the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and the chemical compounds for those ingredients to make critical medicines to help alleviate or prevent drug shortages, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The NIH announced a multipronged study to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic during and after pregnancy. Researchers will analyze the medical records of up to 21,000 women to evaluate whether changes to healthcare delivery that were implemented as a result of the pandemic have led to higher rates of pregnancy-related complications and cesarean delivery. They also seek to establish the risk of pregnant women with COVID-19 infection transmitting the virus to their fetus. Newborns will be monitored and assessed until they are discharged from the hospital.
  • The FDA will host a virtual Town Hall today at 12:15 PM for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers to help answer questions about the updated COVID-19 diagnostics policy. 
  • The FDA has entered into an agreement with Aetion to collaborate on advanced analytical techniques to answer urgent COVID-19 research questions. The FDA and Aetion aim to answer questions about the use of diagnostics and medications in the pandemic, and risk factors for COVID-19-related complications in different patient populations. We believe that this work has the potential to contribute to the scientific evaluation of potential diagnostics and interventions for COVID-19.
  • Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue announced details of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), which will provide up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to America’s farmers and ranchers impacted by the pandemic. In addition to this direct support to farmers and ranchers, USDA’s Farmers to Families Food Box program is partnering with regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat and deliver boxes to Americans in need.
  • CDC is hosting live stakeholder calls to help communities plan for, respond to, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • The CDC had another busy weekend and continues to update and publish new COVID-19 documents to its dashboard. Yesterday, the CDC published new information about what workers and employers can do to manage workplace fatigue, more updated guidance for cruise ship crew member disembarkations, and additional information for pediatric healthcare providers (among other resources).  
  • There are a couple of COVID-19 hearings slated to take place in Congress this week:
  • President Trump has threatened to permanently revoke U.S. funding to the WHO if it does not "commit to major substantive improvements in the next 30 days." The threat came in a letter that sharply criticizes the WHO response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its relationship with China.
  • The House passed the $3 trillion Heroes Act (H.R. 6800) last Friday evening (208-199). Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made it clear he would like Congress to wait and weigh the impact of the previous stimulus packages before the Senate will consider more legislation.
  •  

 

Client News

  • Deloitte is participating in a webinar with the Detroit Regional Chamber titled “Restart Michigan with Deloitte: Six Imperatives for CFOs Leading Through COVID-19 Recovery.”  You can register for the webinar here.
  • AT&T has partnered with the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association and World Central Kitchen to provide lunches for two weeks to workers at Henry Ford Health System.  More information is attached.

 

Other

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 51,915, including 4,915 deaths.  This includes 3,051 cases and 57 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Legislature

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) indicated in an interview that he did not want to reduce school budgets in order to address revenue shortfalls this year.  Instead of reducing school budgets, Sen. Shirkey said he would push federal officials to provide aid for the state’s budget, a sentiment also expressed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.  However, the senate majority leader and governor disagree on how to utilize federal funds.  Sen. Shirkey is looking to use funds already given to the state under the CARES Act, something Gov. Whitmer does not believe is possible.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Whitmer extended a previous executive order allowing pharmacists to dispense emergency prescription refills for a 60 day supply, and requiring insurers to cover early refills for up to 90 days’ supply.  The order is attached.

 

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that all registered voters in Michigan will receive an application to vote by mail in the August and November elections.  The applications will be able to be returned via mail or email to local clerks.

 

Federal

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

 

  • CMS announced new guidance for state and local officials to ensure the safe reopening of nursing homes across the country. The guidance details critical steps nursing homes and communities should take prior to relaxing restrictions implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including infection prevention and control, adequate testing, and surveillance. The recommendations issued today would allow states to make sure nursing homes are continuing to take appropriate and necessary steps to ensure resident safety.
  • The Trump Administration is reportedly set to announce a new BARDA contract with Phlow Corp., a Virginia-based company that manufactures generic medicines and pharmaceutical ingredients needed to treat COVID-19. The four-year contract will attempt to appease concerns that COVID-19 treatments and necessary materials are mostly made in India and China, rather than the U.S.
  • HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced nearly $77 million in a fourth wave of CARES Act funding, supporting up to 8,300 additional vouchers. Provided through HUD's Section 811 Mainstream Housing Choice Voucher Program, this wave of relief funds will provide affordable housing to non-elderly people living with disabilities.
  • The FDA has authorized an at-home sample collection kit that can then be sent to specified laboratories for COVID-19 diagnostic testing. Specifically, the FDA issued an EUA to Everlywell, Inc. for the Everlywell COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit. Everlywell’s kit is authorized to be used by individuals at home who have been screened using an online questionnaire that is reviewed by a health care provider. 
  • The FDA will host a virtual Town Hall on May 20th at 12:15 PM for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers to help answer questions about the updated COVID-19 diagnostics policy. 
  • The CDC published a report documenting activities and initiatives the agency has implemented to support the COVID-19 response and the President's plan to reopen the U.S.
  • CDC is hosting live stakeholder calls to help communities plan for, respond to, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic:
  • The CDC had another busy weekend and continues to update and publish new COVID-19 documents to its dashboard. Yesterday, the CDC published new information about COVID-19 serology surveillance, revised communication resources for travelers, and a more thorough recommendation regarding the use of cloth face masks (among other resources).  
  • House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent a letter to Blue Flame Medical LLC with a series of questions following reports that the company failed to follow through on contracts to provide critical medical supplies and PPE to state and local governments, as well as a nonprofit health care provider. 
  • There are a couple of COVID-19 hearings slated to take place in Congress this week:
  • The bipartisan Congressional Oversight Commission published its first monthly report titled, "Questions About the CARES Act’s $500 Billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Funds." The report states that the Treasury has yet to disburse the $46 billion in grant and loan money to airlines or businesses critical to national security. It has used only $37.5 billion for the Fed’s Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facility so far, which purchases outstanding corporate bonds through a special purpose vehicle. As a reminder, the Commission members are Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), Reps. French Hill (R-AR) and Donna Shalala (D-FL), and Bharat Ramamurti (a democratic economic advisor). 
  • The House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) on Friday evening (208-199). 14 Democrats voted no and one Republican voted yes. Bill text can be found here, and the Manager's Amendment is linked here. A one pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. A resource on the state and local relief provisions is here.

 

Client News

  • Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health announced an expansion of its telemedicine offerings to help veterinarians care for animals during these uncertain times.  The new PetPro Tele+ platform allows people to immediately access online mobile-to-mobile appointments between veterinarians and pet owners who are limiting personal interactions due to COVID-19.  More information on the platform is attached.

 

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.

 

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.

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 51,142, including 4,891 deaths.  This includes 2,538 cases and 57 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  Sunday’s increase saw only 11 deaths, the lowest in 55 days.

 

Michigan Legislature

Following the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference’s agreement that the state will face a $6.28 billion revenue decrease over two years, the chairs of the House and Senate appropriations committees asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to issue a new executive budget recommendation for FY2021.  Additionally, the chairs are looking to work with the administration to cut approximately $2.5 billion from the current budget, in order to ensure it is balanced.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Whitmer announced today that Region 6 and Region 8 (Upper Peninsula and northern part of the Lower Peninsula) would be re-opening in time for the Memorial Day weekend, with some restrictions in place.  Those restrictions include:

  • Bars and restaurants will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity
  • Gatherings of 10 or fewer people will be permitted
  • Retail businesses may operate at 50% capacity as well
  • Local units of government will be allowed to order stricter measures if they determine it is necessary

 

The governor also issued an executive order reorganizing workplace safety requirements into a new order.  The order outlines the required steps bars, restaurants, retailers, and other businesses must take in order to re-open.  Those requirements include, but are not limited to:

  • Maintaining a minimum of six feet between customers
  • Creating physical barriers at cash registers, bars, etc.
  • Posting signage explaining precautions and changes in practices to customers
  • Employee training

 

Accompanying the workplace safety order, the governor issued a similar executive directive on workplace safety for state departments and agencies.  That directive is attached.

 

The governor issued other executive orders as well.  First, she issued an order allowing laboratory research to resume as long as precautionary measures are put into place.  She also extended a previous order enhancing price gouging restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak.  All orders are attached.

 

Federal

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

 

  • Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue, Labor Sec. Gene Scalia, NIH Director Francis Collins, HRSA Administrator Thomas Engels, and FDA's Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Peter Marks are all joining the White House Coronavirus Task Force. According to Vice President Pence, the task force is now focused on getting Americans back to work and allowing businesses to reopen. 
  • The White House announced the details of Operation Warp Speed, an effort to dramatically shorten the development timeline for COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics and get them to the front lines as quickly as possible. The project's chief operating officer will be four-star General Gustave Perna, and former head of GlaxoSmithKline's vaccine's division, Moncef Slaoui, will serve as chief scientist.
  • Here is last week’s COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
  • The CDC published a series of flowcharts to provide guidance to state and local governments, schools and child care services, restaurants, and others regarding when and how to safely relax social distancing measures for various aspects of society.
  • The CDC will award $10.25 billion in funding to jurisdictions using funds from the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. These funds will be directed to states, localities, and territories to develop, purchase, administer, process, and analyze COVID-19 tests, conduct surveillance, trace contacts and related activities
  • The CDC continues to update and publish additional COVID-19 documents to its dashboard. Friday, the CDC published updated information about worker safety and support, planning for colleges and universities, correctional and detention facilities, and an air travel toolkit for airline partners (among other resources). 
  • Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue announced the extension of three nationwide waivers, giving child nutrition program operators flexibility to continue feeding children while promoting social distancing and keeping families safe during COVID-19. Throughout the pandemic, schools and local program sponsors have used flexibilities provided by USDA to find creative ways to feed kids, such as setting up drive-thru pick-ups and delivering meals on bus routes. With the extension of these waivers, these innovative models can continue, without interruption, while state and local social distancing orders remain in place. 
  • There are more COVID-19 hearings slated to take place in Congress this week:
  • The FDA issued an updated At-A-Glance that provides a quick look at facts, figures, and highlights of the agency's COVID-19 response efforts.
  • The FDA issued a Consumer Update, Coronavirus Testing Basics, to provide information about the different types of tests available and the steps involved in obtaining results. 
  • The FDA published Contacts for Medical Devices During the COVID-19 Pandemic, a detailed list of email addresses that may be used to ask questions about COVID-19 related to specific devices, EUA's, or guidance documents.
  • The FDA will host a virtual Town Hall on May 20th at 12:15 PM for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers to help answer questions about the updated COVID-19 diagnostics policy. 
  • The House passed the $3 trillion HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) Friday evening (208-199). 14 Democrats voted no and one Republican voted yes. Bill text can be found here, and the Manager's Amendment is linked here. A one pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. A resource on the state and local relief provisions is here.

 

Client News

  • President Donald Trump will visit Michigan on Thursday to tour Ford Motor Co.’s Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti.  The plant has been converted for production of ventilators by Ford and GE Healthcare in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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.

 

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.

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 48,391, including 4,714 deaths.  This includes 2,145 cases and 56 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Legislature

The Senate passed a supplemental appropriations bill with $523.7 million in federal relief funds yesterday.  The bill includes pay increases for direct care workers, child care rate reductions, bonuses for first responders, and funds to hire workers to help process unemployment claims.  SB 690 passed on a 37-0 vote.  A Senate Fiscal Agency analysis is attached.

 

The House Fiscal Agency released projections for the current FY19-20 budget.  HFA analysts are projecting that General Fund revenues will decrease by $1.9 billion, while School Aid Fund revenues will see a $927 million reduction.  Similarly, the Senate Fiscal Agency projected that General Fund revenues will be reduced by $1.4 billion and School Aid Fund revenues would decline by $1.2 billion.  The projections come ahead of tomorrow’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference.

 

State Budget Director Chris Kolb gave a presentation yesterday to the House Appropriations Committee detailing COVID-19 budget impacts, including how federal funds would be directed in the state.  That presentation is attached.

 

The House of Representatives released an updated session schedule.  The calendar is attached.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended two previous executive orders.  Those orders are designed to maintain expanded access and capacity for child care services and maintain standard safety protocols at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.  Both orders are attached.

 

Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Steve Gray gave testimony to the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic yesterday.  In his testimony, he indicated that more than one third of Michigan’s workforce has entered the unemployment system since March 15th.  He also stated that the agency is essentially a quarter behind, but even if they had known about everything a quarter in advance, they would have been unable to achieve adequate staffing.

 

Attorney General Dana Nessel and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs issued a release indicating that the occupational and business licenses of an Owosso barber were suspended after he defied the executive orders issued by the Whitmer administration.  A licensing complaint was also filed, alleging gross negligence and willful violations of health and safety rules.

 

Federal

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

 

  • This Friday at 1 PM, the FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for researchers, clinical laboratories, and commercial manufacturers to discuss the production and use of 3D printed swabs. This is a collaboration between the FDA, the VA Innovation Ecosystem, and the NIH 3D Print Exchange. 
  • The FDA also announced they will host a virtual Town Hall on May 20th at 12:15 PM for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers to help answer questions about the updated COVID-19 diagnostics policy. 
  • Yesterday, the FDA posted a new website with information on use of thermal imaging systems. Thermal imaging systems and non-contact infrared thermometers use different forms of infrared technology to measure temperature, which has remained a common way to check for fever (a symptom of COVID-19). 
  • Vice President Pence had a discussion with higher education leaders today about getting students back to school in the fall. A brief readout of the conversation is available here
  • COVID-19 hearings in Congress this week (memos available upon request):
  • The CDC continues to update and publish additional COVID-19 documents on its dashboard. Yesterday, the CDC published updated information about symptoms, racial and ethnic minority groups, and guidance for environmental health practitioners
  • CMS released a new toolkit developed to aid nursing homes, governors, states, departments of health, and other agencies who provide oversight and assistance to these facilities, with additional resources to aid in the fight against COVID-19 in nursing homes. The toolkit is comprised of best practices and builds upon previous actions taken by CMS, which provide a wide range of tools and guidance to states, health care providers, and others.
  • House Democrats released the text of the 1,815-page, $3 trillion HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) yesterday. The text of The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800, is here. A one pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. A resource on the state and local relief provisions is here. Votes are still expected in the House on Friday, despite the Progressive Caucus having written to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for more time to read through the bill before they vote.

 

Client News

  • AT&T announced that it has extended its “Keep Americans Connected” pledge through June 30.  This effort includes ensuring residents who may have COVID-19 related financial difficulties can keep their service running.  More details on the pledge and all of AT&T’s efforts can be found here.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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Attached is the substitute for SB 690.  The bonus pay is on pages 13-15.   There is $1000 bonus as lump sum or hourly increase for first responders.  This would be paid until September 30th.  The total for this increase would be $100M.  The money would flow through the local governments to employees.  

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 48,021, including 4,674 deaths.  This includes 2,144 cases and 55 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Legislature

The Senate passed a bill package aimed at extending city and state tax filing deadlines and waiving penalties deadline extensions.  SBs 887, 888, and 889, sponsored by Sen. Stamas (R-Midland), received a 38-0 vote.  These bills would codify previously-issued executive orders.

 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s legal team, in a legal filing responding the House of Representatives’ and Senate’s lawsuit, argued that republican lawmakers were looking “to build a constitutional crisis atop a public health crisis.”  The filing continues by asserting that, because the legislative majorities “hold a losing hand” under current statutes, they turned to a lawsuit as a last-ditch effort in a power grab.  Oral arguments in the suit are scheduled for Friday.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

The governor announced the creation of advisory workgroups to provide input on safely re-engaging various sectors of the economy.  The first round of workgroups include:

 

  • Childcare
  • Hair Salons/Barbershops
  • Home Services Providers
  • Outdoor Recreation
  • Restaurants/Bars

 

Subsequent workgroups that are expected to be established include:

 

  • Amateur Sports
  • Churches/Community Centers
  • Congregate Care Facilities (criminal justice settings, nursing homes, adult foster care, homeless shelters, etc.)
  • Entertainment
  • Gyms
  • Libraries
  • Retail
  • Rideshare/Taxi/Limo
  • Traditional Office Setting
  • Travel/Tourism
  • Wellness Services

 

For more information on the workgroups, please contact a Kelley Cawthorne lobbyist.

 

The State of Michigan announced that more than 31,000 state employees will take two temporary layoff days per pay period until July 25th, but continue working on those days at reduced hours through the federal work share program.  The move will allow state employees to collect partial unemployment benefits to make up lost wages, and is expected to save the state approximately $80 million.

 

Gov. Whitmer extended a previous executive order lifting regulatory requirements, such as certificate of need requirements, on hospitals and care facilities.  The order is attached.

 

Federal

As talks continue, details have begun to emerge on priorities for the next federal stimulus bill.  Some main focuses of the negotiations include:

 

  • Federal assistance for state and local governments has emerged as a top priority for House Democrats and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  The caucus is pushing for at least $1 trillion in assistance, which has received pushback from Senate Republicans, who would prefer to see what types of aid have been successful so far.
  • Senate Republicans have described liability protections for businesses and employees as a “must have” in any future bill.  They view such provisions as a method of re-opening the economy more quickly, especially as legal issues related to customers who contract the virus arise.
  • Democrats have also prioritized the expansion of refundable tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC).  Increasing the benefits for existing credits and creating new tax credits have also been proposed.
  • House Democrats are likely to push for green energy tax credits, while Senate Republicans look to provide assistance for the oil industry.
  • Further expansion of unemployment benefits, as well as more direct payments to individuals, have been discussed.  However, these provisions have seen opposition from some lawmakers, who do not want another massive bill.
  • There is a bipartisan congressional effort to urge the IRS to reverse recent guidance issued that prevents businesses from claiming tax breaks if they continue to pay health benefits to furloughed workers, but not wages.  Lawmakers say that the policy “runs directly counter to congressional intent.”
  • Meanwhile, the Trump administration has hinted at several priorities for the next bill, including a payroll tax holiday.  In a tweet, the president also indicated he would like to see “the elimination of Sanctuary Cities, Payroll Taxes, and perhaps Capital Gains Taxes.”

 

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

 

  • House Democrats released the text of the 1,815-page, $3 trillion HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) this afternoon. The text of The Heroes Act, H.R. 6800, is here. A one pager on the legislation is here. A section-by-section summary is here. A resource on the state and local relief provisions is here. Votes are expected in the House on Friday, though the leaders of the Progressive Caucus have written to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asking for more time to read through the bill before they vote.
  • COVID-19 hearings in Congress this week (memos will be available upon request):
  • The CDC has updated and added sections to its COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines including a new section on antithrombotic therapy. 
  • The CDC continues to update and publish additional documents on its dashboard. Yesterday, the CDC published updated information about what to do if your pet tests positive for COVID-19, interim guidance on unsheltered homelessness and COVID-19 for homeless service providers and local officials, new information for pediatric healthcare providers, and an air travel toolkit for airline partners. These are just a sampling of the many updates made each day by the CDC.
  • Monday, CMS Administrator Seema Verma wrote a letter to nursing home management and staff, sharing her gratitude for the workers as well as reiterating that the Administration is doing all it can to support them.
  • The FDA provided an update on surveillance inspections during COVID-19. In the update, the agency stated it will continue to utilize and implement additional alternative inspection tools and approaches while postponing domestic and foreign routine surveillance inspections. This will continue as local, national, and international conditions warrant, with the exception of certain mission critical inspections. 
  • The FDA issued a warning letter to a company that was selling fraudulent COVID-19 products. Fusion Health and Vitality LLC recently offered products, including “CORE” and “IMMUNE SHOT,” for sale in the U.S. with claims that misleadingly represented the products as safe and/or effective for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. There are currently no FDA-approved products to prevent or treat COVID-19. 
  • To help homeowners and renters have the most up to date and accurate housing assistance information, the CFPB, FHFA, and HUD launched the new mortgage and housing assistance website, cfpb.gov/housing. FHFA and HUD are offering CARES Act assistance and protection for Americans having trouble paying their mortgage or rent due to COVID-19. This joint website consolidates the CARES Act mortgage relief, protections for renters, resources for additional help, and information on how to avoid COVID-19 related scams. It also provides lookup tools for homeowners to determine if their mortgage is federally backed, and for renters to find out if their rental unit is financed by FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac.

 

Client News

  • Dr. M. Roy Wilson, President of Wayne State University, will be participating in Crain’s webinar, “COVID-19 and the Impact on African-Americans.”  You can register for the webinar here.

 

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.

 

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.

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 47,552, including 4,584 deaths.  This includes 2,139 cases and 54 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Legislature

Former Sen. Morris Hood III passed away this morning after a battle with complications related to COVID-19.  Hood served three terms in the House of Representatives and two terms in the Senate, where he served as minority floor leader, before moving to the office of Wayne County Executive Warren Evans.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said of him that “there was not a more loyal friend, thoughtful advisor or quicker wit,” while others described him as a dedicated public servant and friend.  He was 55.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Whitmer issued an executive order suspending requirements related to employment of minors.  The order suspends the requirements that a work permit application be made in person and that work permits for minors under 16 years of age are a different color than permits for those over 16 years of age.

 

The governor also extended several previous executive orders that lifted weight restrictions for trucks carrying essential supplies and allowed administrative hearings to be conducted by phone or video conference.  All orders are attached.

 

Federal

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

 

  • The White House has directed West Wing staff to wear masks/face coverings after at least two aides tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Drs. Tony Fauci and Robert Redfield, and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn are all self-isolating. The Senate HELP Committee hearing still took place, but each of the aforementioned individuals joined virtually. 
  • HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced the allocation of $1 billion in CARES Act funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. You can view the allocation formula here
  • COVID-19 hearings in Congress this week (memos will be available upon request):
  • The CDC remained busy through the weekend, updating and publishing additional documents on its dashboard. The CDC published updated information about SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES), guidance on when to wear gloves and running essential errands, and a list of factors to consider when planning to purchase respirators from another country. These are just a sampling of the many updates made each day by the CDC.
  • CMS updated a video that answers FAQ about the expanded Medicare telehealth services benefit. New information includes how CMS adds items to the list of telehealth services, additional practitioners that can provide telehealth services, and the distant site services that Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) can provide. Further, the video includes information about audio-only telehealth services, telehealth services that hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies can provide, along with how to correctly bill for telehealth services.
  • The FDA issued the first EUA for a COVID-19 antigen test, which is a new category of diagnostic tests that quickly detect fragments of proteins found on the virus by testing samples collected from the nasal cavity using swabs.
  • Democrats are still hoping to introduce a "COVID IV"/CARES 2.0 bill within the week. Whatever text is introduced will likely face weeks of negotiations before a vote would take place in the Senate. 

 

Client News

  • Pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has shipped 40 cases of remdesivir to Michigan.  The drug, which has been shown to help COVID-19 patients recover faster in trials, will be distributed to hospitals across the state by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  More information is available here.

 

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.

 

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.

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 47,138, including 4,551 deaths.  This includes 2,138 cases and 51 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Legislature

The House of Representatives released protocol for committees to meet.  They include social distancing and decreased room capacities.  The full protocol is available here.

 

Oral arguments have been scheduled in the Court of Claims lawsuit filed against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by the House of Representatives and Senate.  Arguments will take place at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 15th via Zoom.

 

The Michigan Capitol Commission created a special committee to examine whether to ban firearms in the capitol building.  The committee formation follows public pressure on state government to ban firearms in the building after armed protesters filled the capitol, demonstrating against Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.  Attorney General Dana Nessel previously issued a formal opinion that the Capitol Commission had the power to ban firearms in the building.

 

The Senate Fiscal Agency reported an April revenue shortfall of $1 billion below projections.  Despite the high figure, Senate Fiscal Agency noted that 90% of the shortfall is a result of delays in tax filings.

 

The Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic is holding its first hearing this Wednesday.  Unemployment Insurance Agency Director Steve Gray will testify.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Whitmer issued an executive order extending a previous executive order.  The order extends the expiration of driver’s licenses and other state identification cards.  It also suspends penalties for vehicle registration violations.  The order is attached.

 

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that previous temporary layoffs would be extended another week, with the possibility of a future extension.  The layoffs primarily apply to branch office workers.

 

Federal

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

 

  • Vice President Mike Pence’s Press Secretary, Katie Miller, has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Here is last week’s COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
  • COVID-19 hearings in Congress this week:
  • Friday, the U.S. FDA authorized the first diagnostic test (produced by the Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory) which can process home-collected saliva samples for COVID-19.
  • On Wednesday, the U.S. FDA granted an EUA for the first CRISPR-based diagnostic test for COVID-19. With the appropriate, corresponding instrumentation, this test kit could be used at the point of care, and results can be reported within minutes.
  • Last week, HHS deployed 50 portable kidney dialysis machines and supplies to New York City and Long Island Intensive Care Units (ICUs) to provide surge capacity for facilities caring for patients with COVID-19, which has caused acute kidney injury and required dialysis in a some cases.
  • The CDC continues to update and publish additional documents on its dashboard. The CDC published an updated FAQ about children, helpful information for long-haul truck drivers, new guidance and resources for staffing the public health workforce, and some additions to the household checklist. These three are just a sampling of the many updates made each day by the CDC.
  • Though the Senate returned to Washington on Monday, Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has indicated the House will not return for another couple of weeks. This does not affect the passage of a fifth (or fourth, depending on how you classify 3.5) COVID-19 supplemental appropriations package quite so much as does the standoff between Republicans and Democrats on a few key issues.

 

Client News

 

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.

 

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. 

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 45,646, including 4,343 deaths.  This includes 2,036 cases and 50 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Legislature

The Senate passed legislation amending the Emergency Management Act of 1976 yesterday.  SB 899, sponsored by Sen. Michael MacDonald (R-Macomb Twp.), grants immunity to healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities until September 30, 2020 for actions related to the COVID-19 outbreak.  The legislation received a 25-13 vote, with Sens. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo), Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), and Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia) joining the republican caucus in voting in favor.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order aimed at opening up more of the state’s economy.  The order is attached.  The executive order extends the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order until May 28th.  The order also allows manufacturing activities to resume, while also creating requirements for businesses and facilities that begin to resume operations.  Those requirements include (but are not limited to):

 

  • Conduct daily entry screening for workers, contractors, suppliers, and any other individuals entering the facility, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and exposure, combined with temperature screening with a no-touch thermometer. 
    • We have a screening solution for this requirement- anyone interested can contact a Kelley Cawthorne lobbyist for more information.
  • Create dedicated entry point(s) at facilities for daily screenings and ensure physical barriers are in place to prevent anyone from bypassing the screening.
  • Suspend non-essential in-person visits, including tours.
  • Train workers on:
    • Routes of COVID-19 transmission
    • Distance that the virus can travel in air, as well as time it remains viable in air and on surfaces
    • Symptoms
    • Steps to notify the business of any symptoms or a diagnosis
    • Measures the facility is taking to prevent worker exposure
    • Rules that must be followed in order to prevent exposure and spread
    • Use of personal protective equipment, including steps for putting it on and taking it off
  • Create protocols for minimizing personal contact upon delivery of materials to facility.
  • Ensure sufficient hand washing/sanitizing stations, and discontinue use of hand dryers.
  • Notify facility leaders and potentially exposed individuals upon identification of a positive case of COVID-19 in the facility and maintain a central log for symptomatic workers/workers who test positive.

 

The governor also released the state’s plan for restarting the state’s economy.  The plan, titled “MI Safe Start,” lays out six phases of re-opening various economic sectors and details the factors and considerations that the governor will take into account when deciding to move to the next phase and re-engage various business types.  The plan is attached.

 

The Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity released guidelines for manufacturing facilities to return to work.  The guidelines expand on the governor’s executive order requirements for manufacturing and are attached.

 

Federal

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

 

  • HHS has extended the deadline for healthcare providers fighting COVID-19 to attest to receipt of payments from the Provider Relief Fund and accept the Terms and Conditions. Providers will now have 45 days, increased from 30 days, from the date they receive a payment to attest and accept the Terms and Conditions or return the funds.
  • To date, the FDA has issued 42 warning letters to companies making bogus COVID-19 claims, including one to a seller of fraudulent chlorine dioxide products, equivalent to industrial bleach, frequently referred to as “Miracle Mineral Solution” or “MMS,” as a treatment for COVID-19. After the seller refused to take corrective action, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction requiring the seller to immediately stop distributing its unproven and potentially dangerous product.
  • Through HRSA, HHS awarded nearly $583 million to 1,385 HRSA-funded health centers in the U.S. to expand COVID-19 testing. Nearly 88 percent of HRSA-funded health centers report testing patients, with more than 65 percent offering walk-up or drive-up testing. Health centers are currently providing more than 100,000 weekly COVID-19 tests in their local communities. The funding for these centers is part of the “COVID 3.5” bill signed into law last month. Here is a list of award recipients.
  • COVID-19 hearings in Congress next week:
  • The CDC continues to update and publish additional documents on its dashboard. Yesterday, the CDC published updated interim guidance for tribal communities, first responders and law enforcement, and schools and child care programs. These three are just a sampling of the many updates made each day by the CDC.
  • The CDC published three new articles in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) about COVID-19, including an article about workers in meat processing plants. This study looked at COVID-19 cases among U.S. workers in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities were reported by 19 states. Among approximately 130,000 workers at these facilities, 4,913 cases and 20 deaths occurred. Difficulties with workplace physical distancing and hygiene and crowded living and transportation conditions were listed as factors that increased risk.
  • CMS announced that nursing homes are now required to report the first week of COVID-19 data to the CDC beginning May 8th but no later than May 17th. For the first time, all 15,000 nursing homes will be reporting this data directly to the CDC through its reporting tool.
  • CMS released additional FAQs to aid state Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) agencies in their response to the pandemic. The new FAQs cover a variety of Medicaid and CHIP topics, including emergency preparedness and response, benefit, financing, eligibility and enrollment flexibilities, information technology, and data reporting.
  • CMS has approved over 155 requests for state relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including recent approvals for Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington. These approvals help to ensure that states have the tools they need to combat COVID-19 through a wide variety of waivers, amendments, and Medicaid state plan flexibilities, including support for programs that care for the elderly and people with disabilities. CMS developed a toolkit to expedite the application and review of each request and has approved these requests in record time.
  • Though the Senate returned to Washington on Monday, Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has indicated the House will not return for another couple of weeks. This does not affect the passage of a fifth (or fourth, depending on how you classify 3.5) COVID-19 supplemental appropriations package quite so much as does the standoff between Republicans and Democrats on a few key issues.
  • White House officials have reportedly rejected proposed guidance developed by the CDC which aims to assist states in implementing protective measures as states begin to reopen. Officials are said to have viewed the draft guidance as “overly prescriptive,” particularly for states currently experienced low levels of transmission.
  • President Trump said that he, Vice President Pence, and members of the White House staff will be tested every day for COVID-19 after a military aide who has had contact with the president tested positive.

 

Client News

  • Lake Superior State University announced that, in addition to other COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies, the school would plan for face-to-face instruction with an adjusted academic calendar.  Under the new plan for the Fall 2020 semester, classes would begin on August 10th and conclude prior to Thanksgiving.  Additionally, the Spring 2021 semester will start January 19th and end on April 30th.

 

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.

 

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.

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 45,054, including 4,250 deaths.  This includes 1,936 cases and 48 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Legislature

Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), chair of the Senate K-12 and Michigan Department of Education Appropriations Subcommittee, has indicated that plans are being made to cut between 10-30% of the budget.  These cuts would include per-pupil funding levels.

 

The House Ways and Means Committee moved a bill package intended to expand access to telehealth services.  HBs 5412-5416 would require Medicaid coverage of certain telehealth services in certain circumstances and amend the definition of telemedicine in several statutes.

 

Sen. Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) introduced SR 117 yesterday.  The resolution would give the Senate Oversight Committee, chaired by Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan), subpoena powers.  The Senate Oversight Committee is separate from the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, chaired by Rep. Matt Hall (R-Emmett Twp.).

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order designed to expedite unemployment benefits for workers in Michigan.  The order allows the state to review only an individual’s most recent job separation to determine the individual’s benefit entitlement.  The order also extend a previous order on unemployment.

 

The governor also extended a previous executive order allowing public bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act to meet remotely.  Both orders are attached.

 

Federal

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

 

  • President Trump has said the Coronavirus Task Force will not, in fact, be disbanding anytime soon. Instead, it will remain in commission “indefinitely” and shift the focus to finding a vaccine.
  • Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue sent two letters to governors across the nation and leadership of major meat processing companies. The letters establish the USDA’s expectations for the implementation of President Trump’s recent EO that directs meat processing plants to follow the CDC and OSHA guidance specific to the meat processing industry to keep these critical facilities open while maintaining worker safety.
  • The FDA issued guidance notifying the Center for Devices and Radiological Health of a permanent discontinuance or interruption in manufacturing of a device under Section 506J of the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act during the COVID-19 public health crisis. The guidance is intended to assist manufacturers in providing FDA timely, informative notifications about changes in the production of certain medical device products that will help the Agency prevent or mitigate shortages of such devices during the COVID-19.
  • The FDA has been notified that more than 240 laboratories have begun testing under the policies set forth in our COVID-19 Policy for Diagnostic Tests for Coronavirus Disease-2019 during the Public Health Emergency Guidance.
  • The FDA also continues to keep its COVID-19 Diagnostics FAQ up to date.
  • The CDC released a study of the spread of COVID-19 in public and private prisons and detention centers in the U.S. The study found that nearly 5,000 prisoners had contracted the virus along with over 2,000 staff members, resulting in 103 total deaths.
  • The CDC continues to update and publish additional documents on its dashboard. Yesterday, the CDC published updated interim guidance on managing COVID-19 in correctional and detainment facilities, further information on social distancing (with subcategories for those at increased risk), and cruise ship crew member disembarkation guidelines. These three are just a sampling of the many updates made each day by the CDC.
  • You can view CMS’s overview of recent COVID-19-related actions here.
  • Though the Senate returned to Washington on Monday, Democratic Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) has indicated the House will not return for another couple of weeks. This does not affect the passage of a fifth (or fourth, depending on how you classify 3.5) COVID-19 supplemental appropriations package quite so much as does the standoff between Republicans and Democrats on a few key issues.
  • A 57-year-old man from El Salvador is the first person to die from COVID-19 while in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. The man had been held at the Otay Mesa Detention Center in San Diego, California.

 

Client News

  • Walmart has unveiled new express testing locations.  Tomorrow (May 8th), sites in Muskegon, Benton Harbor, Monroe, Canton, and Mt. Pleasant will begin operating.  Next Friday (May 15th), sites in Novi, Taylor, and Flint Twp. will begin operating.  The sites will offer express testing from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
  • Ford delivers first shipment of power air-purifying respirators to Seattle hospital

 

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.

 

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. 

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 44,397, including 4,179 deaths.  This includes 1,898 cases and 48 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  Please note that 8 of the 44 new deaths yesterday are a result of reviewing Vital Records and testing data.

 

Michigan Legislature

The House of Representatives and Senate filed suit against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today.  The action, filed in the Michigan Court of Claims, argues that the powers granted to the governor in the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 are meant for local emergencies, rather than statewide emergencies.  The suit also argues that if the court determines the 1945 law and the Emergency Management Act of 1976 are “coextensive,” then the 28 day limit in the 1976 law should apply to the 1945 law as well.  The full complaint is attached.

 

Rep. Matt Hall (R-Emmett Twp.), chair of the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic, sent a letter to Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) asking for full subpoena powers for the committee.  Currently, the committee may subpoena documents, but not testimony.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Whitmer issued two executive orders which extend previous orders.  The first order extends the ability for e-signatures and remote notarizations to be used on documents.  The second order continues the suspension of licensing, decal, and trip permit requirements for motor carriers used to collect taxes by the Department of Treasury.  Both orders are attached.

 

Federal

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

 

  • The White House has communicated that the Coronavirus Task Force will be coming to an end in the not-too-distant future. Vice President Mike Pence said the Task Force could be wrapping up as early as the beginning of June.
  • Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA) sent President Trump a letter calling on the Administration to develop a comprehensive national strategic plan of action by May 24th to ensure states have sufficient tests to begin safely re-opening.
  • Democratic lawmakers wrote to Gilead CEO Daniel O’Day asking for details on the company’s plans for remdesivir, an anti-viral medication being studied to treat COVID-19, including measures to secure the supply chain, disclosures about taxpayer investment in the drug, and pricing.
  • Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue announced that the USDA is investing $23 million through the ReConnect Pilot Program for three recipients in New Mexico to provide broadband service in rural areas.
    • Sec. Perdue also announced a 5 million meal expansion of Meals to You, the USDA’s partnership with Baylor University, McLane Global, and PepsiCo, to feed low-income kids in rural areas.
  • CMS posted a new FAQ page for state Medicaid and CHIP programs.
  • HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced the allocation of $380 million in supplemental administrative fee funding to all Public Housing Authorities (PHA), including Moving to Work (MTW) PHAs. The two months of additional funding may be used for traditional administrative fees as well as for new costs related to protecting assisted families and employees throughout this coronavirus pandemic. The funding was made available by the CARES Act.
  • The Senate has returned to D.C. (with skeleton staffs) and are jumping right in with hearings. The slated COVID-19 hearings are:
  • The CDC continues to update and publish additional documents on its dashboard, including updated strategies to optimize the supply of PPE and equipment, guidance for care for breastfeeding women, and interim guidance criteria for return to work for healthcare personnel with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
  • You can view CMS’s overview of recent COVID-19-related actions here.

 

Client News

  • DTE Energy is encouraging its business customers to take advantage of the Personalized Service Protection program to help customers impacted by COVID19 protect their energy service.  The program helps customers who are concerned they may not be able to pay their bills due to income reductions or health impacts from coronavirus.  More information is available here, or business customers can call (855) 383-4249.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Thank you,

 

Nate

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  As we shift to operating digitally, we at Kelley Cawthorne are continuing to find ways to ensure your voice is represented at the capital.  To that end, we will have a series of webinars with state lawmakers and policy influencers.

 

Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) will be joining us on Tuesday, May 26th. We will hear from Congresswoman Slotkin about federal funding for COVID-19, testing, and the Paycheck Protection Program.  Our clients will be in listen only mode.  However, if you would like to submit questions, please provide them to your Kelley Cawthorne Lobbyist by noon on Monday, May 25th

 

The webinar will be Tuesday, May 26th at 3:00 p.m.  It can be accessed at that time by following this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82681395568?pwd=L3dKaHgvbVVnRis4ZUlvVk9MdU56dz09

 

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

 

Thank you,

 

Nate

Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  Thank you for joining us for today’s webinar with Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio.  Director Donofrio’s presentation is attached.

 

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

 

Thank you,

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 42,356, including 3,866 deaths.  This includes 1,560 cases and 42 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

After the legislature failed to vote to extend a state of emergency and instead authorized lawsuits against the governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asserted that republican lawmakers were “putting their heads in the sand and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk.”  She also issued multiple executive orders:

 

  • An initial executive order to terminate the existing state of emergency and disaster declarations in EO 2020-33.
  • An executive order clarifying that a state of emergency remains in effect under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 until May 28.
  • An executive order declaring a state of emergency and a state of disaster under the Emergency Management Act of 1976 until May 28.
  • A previously-announced executive order allowing the resumption of some types of work that present a very low risk of infection including construction, real estate activities, and work that is traditionally and primarily performed outdoors.  The order requires construction sites to adopt a set of best practices, including:
    • Designating a site supervisor to enforce COVID-19 control strategies.
    • Conducting daily health screenings for workers.
    • Creating dedicated entry points, if possible, or issuing stickers or other indicators to assure that all workers are screened every day. 
    • Identifying choke points and high-risk areas (like hallways, hoists and elevators, break areas, water stations, and buses) and controlling them to enable social distancing. 
    • Ensuring sufficient hand-washing or hand-sanitizing stations at the worksite. 
  • An extension of a previous executive order closing K-12 school building for the remainder of the school year, and expansion of the order to the Great Start Readiness Program and other early childhood programs for the remainder of the school year, as well as guidelines for how those programs should proceed with activities.
  • An extension of a previous executive order closing places of public accommodation such as theaters, bars, restaurants, and casinos.

 

All orders are attached.

 

Federal

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

 

  • The FDA included, under the ventilator emergency use authorization (EUA), a ventilator developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which is tailored to treat patients with COVID-19. The ventilator was added to the list of authorized ventilators, ventilator tubing connectors and ventilator accessories under the ventilator EUA that was issued in response to concerns relating to insufficient supply and availability of FDA-cleared ventilators for use in health care settings to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The FDA published Q&A about COVID-19 and pets.
  • The federal government is reportedly initiating an effort called “Operation Warp Speed” to speed the development and production of countermeasures against COVID-19, including vaccines. The program will reportedly provide liability protection and funding for vaccine developers. Operation Warp Speed has not officially been announced by the government.
    • It is unclear how much money will be allocated to this program, but the goal is reportedly to manufacture hundreds of millions of treatment/vaccine doses by the end of 2020.
  • The CDC continues to update their dashboard. Yesterday, they notably updated the social media toolkit and guidance for contact tracing. Recently, they updated and published the most recent reopening guidelines for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes.
  • Betsy DeVos announced yesterday that nearly $1.4 billion in additional funding will be directed to Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs), as well as institutions serving low-income students to help ensure learning continues during the coronavirus national emergency. This funding is part of the Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) Fund authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • The House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies will hold a hearing May 6th at 10:00 am on the federal government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will be meeting on May 7th at 10:00 am for hearing titled, “Shark Tank: New Tests for COVID-19.” The two witnesses, who were announced this morning, are NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins and BARDA Acting Director Dr. Gary Disbrow.
  • CMS announced a new independent Commission that will conduct a comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to COVID-19. The Commission will provide independent recommendations to the contractor to review and report to CMS to help inform immediate and future responses to COVID-19 in nursing homes. This effort builds upon the five-part plan unveiled last April to ensure safety and quality in America’s nursing homes, as well as recent CMS efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 within these facilities. 
  • Yesterday, the Senate Democratic Policy and Communications Committee released a report studying the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color.
  • On Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to President Trump advising him to limit the amount of liability businesses could face for spreading COVID-19. The letter warned against overregulating businesses, and should receive positive reception in the Administration.

 

Client News

  • DTE Energy announced that it will be providing between $30-40 million in electric utility bill relief during June and July amid the COVID-19 outbreak.  The savings are provided by leveraging efficiencies and current lower fuel prices.

 

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.

 

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.

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