MLC April 2021 UPDATES

The Michigan Legislative Consultants (MLC) is sharing the latest updates with our members informed on what’s happening at the State Capitol in our MLC April 2021 Updates.

County Map of Michigan | MLC April 2021 Updates

This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, April 26, 2021.

Monday, April 26 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 31,963
  • Total Cases: 825,844
  • Weekly Deaths: 423
  • Total Deaths: 17,324
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 7,743
  • Total Cases: 896,637
  • Weekly Deaths: 131
  • Total Deaths: 19,122
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 6,689
  • Total Cases: 715,468
  • Weekly Deaths: 52
  • Total Deaths: 12,870
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 18,970
  • Total Cases: 1,323,170
  • Weekly Deaths: 151
  • Total Deaths: 21,836
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 4,218
  • Total Cases: 595,049
  • Weekly Deaths: 46
  • Total Deaths: 6,756

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • Last Friday, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) convened to review the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. This meeting followed a brief pause in a production put in place jointly by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), due to 15 confirmed cases of a rare blood-clot syndrome among 8 million administered doses. The panel, which is comprised of medical and public health experts and develops recommendations for the CDC, voted to lift the pause. However, with a vote of 10-4, the consensus was not unanimous and several members of the committee raised concerns that the decision could further increase vaccine hesitancy.
  • This coming Wednesday, Pres. Biden will address a limited audience of Congress – about 200 members – on his first 100 days in office and to unveil plans for the “American Family Plan,” which is the second part of an overarching infrastructure plan. It will focus largely on childcare, paid family leave, and other social welfare issues. Prescription drug pricing, a hot button bipartisan issue, will likely also be included. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) is slated to provide the Republican response.
  • On Friday, the House Education and Labor Workforce Protections Subcommittee will convene to discuss the status of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Emergency Temporary Standard. House Democrats are concerned that the Department of Labor has yet to issue any such standards on workplace safety that would take steps to protect workers from exposure to COVID-19. Regulators and worker advocates believe it likely that the longer it takes for the Biden administration to release a temporary rule, the harder it will be to implement and defend as an “emergency.”

Michigan Launches Travel Testing Sites Pilot Program

The Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Transportation are launching a pilot program to provide COVID-19 testing at locations with high volume travel. The Travel Points Testing program will bring antigen COVID-19 testing to select airports and Michigan Welcome Centers. The tests will be administered at no cost and provide results within 15 minutes. For more information, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • The Department of Treasury announced taxpayers who accepted federal Paycheck Protection Program loans won’t be taxed on loans forgiven through the program. Click here to read more.
  • The state extended the additional food assistance that has been available since the beginning of the pandemic. Click here to read more.
  • The Department of Insurance and Financial Services worked with several private insurers to continue their waiver of out-of-pocket costs associated with COVID-19 testing, vaccinations, and treatment. Click here to read more.

National Articles

  • Going forward, annual COVID-19 booster shots may be necessary in order to continue having protection against the virus. Click here to read more.
  • The latest data shows that vaccines help protect a person from getting the virus and they help prevent that person from spreading the virus. Click here to read more.
  • The Biden administration believes that local doctors will play a large role in the next phase of vaccinations. Click here to read more.

MLC Insider Intelligence: April 23

Legislature Moves Budgets Forward

House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees began reporting the budget bills within their purview this week.

Bipartisan Reforms to State Government Announced

House Speaker Jason Wentworth (D-Farwell) and House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Twp.) announced a series of reforms their caucuses are working on collaboratively that would make changes to state ethics and transparency laws.

Governor Creates Michigan Jail Reform Advisory Council

Through executive order, Governor Gretchen Whitmer created a council to facilitate, assist with, monitor, and evaluate the implementation of jail reform legislation.

House Committee Issues Subpoena for Former Director

This week, the House Oversight Committee voted to issue a subpoena for former Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon.

New Executive Director of Gaming Control Board Announced

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointment of Henry Williams as executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB).

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • Yesterday, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), along with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) in the House, re-introduced the “Endless Frontier Act.” Among other provisions, this bill would authorize billions of dollars for the National Science Foundation to help boost high-tech research and manufacturing and establish regional technology hubs across the country to launch new innovations. This bipartisan authorization bill is sponsored by 14 senators and is headed to a legislative markup next week in the Senate Commerce Committee. You can read more about the bill here.
  • Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Rob Portman (R-OH), Gary Peters (D-MI), and Mike Braun (R-IN) announced that they will reintroduce the “Building America, Buy American Act,” which would require Buy America rules to be fully implemented in all public works and infrastructure projects funded by the American taxpayer. This change would ensure that all such projects would require the purchase of American-made manufactured products. You can find more information here.
  • Senate Republicans released their counteroffer of Pres. Joe Biden’s infrastructure package proposal. This proposal focuses on transportation, broadband, and water projects, and costs $568 billion. Among other things, this plan allocates $299 for roads and bridges, $61 billion for transit, $44 billion for airports, and $7 billion for water ports.
  • Yesterday morning, the Senate Finance Committee voted to advance the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be the Administrator of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). This vote, which deadlocked at 14-14 along party lines, came as a result of Republicans’ frustration with the Biden administration’s decision to revoke a 10-year extension of Texas’ Medicaid waiver last week without notice. If all Republican Senators oppose her nomination during the confirmation vote, Majority Leader Schumer will need the votes of all 50 Senate Democrats and Vice President Kamala Harris to break a tie.
Additional Stories

For this week’s additional stories, please click here to visit the MLC Blog.


This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, April 19, 2021.

Monday, April 19 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 46,184
  • Total Cases: 793,881
  • Weekly Deaths: 389
  • Total Deaths: 16,901
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 9,414
  • Total Cases: 888,894
  • Weekly Deaths: 164
  • Total Deaths: 18,991
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 8,956
  • Total Cases: 708,779
  • Weekly Deaths: 72
  • Total Deaths: 12,818
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 21,995
  • Total Cases: 1,304,200
  • Weekly Deaths: 162
  • Total Deaths: 21,685
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 5,121
  • Total Cases: 590,831
  • Weekly Deaths: 30
  • Total Deaths: 6,710

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • Several technology firms, including IBM and Microsoft, have released e-passports that allow users to prove test results or vaccination against COVID-19 for entry to large events. While the Biden administration has firmly stated that it will not get involved with coordination or regulation of such vaccine passports in order to avoid further vaccine hesitancy, questions remain about the legality of the technology and whether or not the private sector can build consumer trust to keep data confidential.
  • Under current employment law, the Americans with Disabilities Act does not prevent businesses from mandating workers to prove they have been vaccinated. However, employers must keep such information about workers confidential. In that framework, it may be difficult to share data with third parties.

Epidemic Order Extended, Added Mask Requirement

The Department of Health and Human Services has extended the current gatherings and mask epidemic order through May 24. Additionally, it expanded the mask order to include children ages 2 – 4, who had previously not been under the mandate. The new order takes effect on April 26 and follows guidance by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Children in that age range must wear a mask while at childcare facilities or camps. The expansion comes as cases of COVID-19 in children have been on the rise in Michigan. For information on the current epidemic order, please click here.

Michigan Articles

National Articles


This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, April 12, 2021.

Monday, April 12 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 45,198
  • Total Cases: 747,697
  • Weekly Deaths: 273
  • Total Deaths: 16,512
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 10,355
  • Total Cases: 879,480
  • Weekly Deaths: 184
  • Total Deaths: 18,827
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 8,198
  • Total Cases: 699,823
  • Weekly Deaths: 78
  • Total Deaths: 12,746
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 23,469
  • Total Cases: 1,282,205
  • Weekly Deaths: 139
  • Total Deaths: 21,523
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 5,526
  • Total Cases: 585,710
  • Weekly Deaths: 40
  • Total Deaths: 6,680

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • Last week, President Biden nominated the head of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), Doug Parker, to lead the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This is especially timely as the administration is deciding whether or not to create a set of temporary and enforceable COVID-19-related workplace safety regulations.
  • This Thursday, the Senate Finance committee will consider the nomination of Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Brooks-LaSure helped craft and implement the ACA when she worked on the Ways and Means Committee and served at HHS and CMS under the Obama administration.

Governor Asking for Additional Vaccines

At her last press conference, Governor Gretchen Whitmer urged the Biden Administration to utilize a national surge strategy and send additional vaccines to areas of the country experiencing surges. Over the weekend, Governor Whitmer, along with Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist, appeared on national news outlets pushing for the need in Michigan. As of today, the administration has stated that while they will send additional supplies to help with vaccination efforts, they will not send additional doses of vaccines to the state. They are planning to continue their equity strategy in the distribution of vaccines throughout the country.

Michigan Articles

  • Unlike prior surges, Governor Whitmer isn’t using mandates but instead urging residents to take precautions on their own. Click here to read more.
  • According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, Michigan needs to shut down the state due to the rising cases. Click here to read more.
  • Experts are fearing that the surge in key metrics that are occurring in Michigan is a sign of what is to come for the rest of the nation. Click here to read more.
  • The rate of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the state continues to climb at alarming rates. Click here to read more.

National Articles


This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, April 5, 2021.

Monday, April 5 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 41,728
  • Total Cases: 702,499
  • Weekly Deaths: 205
  • Total Deaths: 16,239
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 9,702
  • Total Cases: 869,125
  • Weekly Deaths: 117
  • Total Deaths: 18,643
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 6,892
  • Total Cases: 691,625
  • Weekly Deaths: 46
  • Total Deaths: 12,668
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 19,147
  • Total Cases: 1,258,736
  • Weekly Deaths: 128
  • Total Deaths: 21,384
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 4,140
  • Total Cases: 580,184
  • Weekly Deaths: 39
  • Total Deaths: 6,640

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • This morning, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a proposal to prohibit mortgage servicers from initiating foreclosures until January 1, 2022. CFPB proposed that servicers be allowed to offer borrowers affected by the pandemic streamlined loan options. These temporary modifications would help an estimated 1.7 million borrowers. Read more about the proposed temporary changes here and a summary of the 2021 Mortgage Servicing COVID-19 Proposed Rule here.
  • In an interview today, Dr. Anthony Fauci stated that the federal government – and specifically the Biden administration – will not mandate vaccine passports for travel or business entry and that any such mandates would instead come from the private sector, if at all. Several states are moving to ban the use of such passports; more left-leaning states, such as New York, have launched or will be launching voluntary apps that allow people to upload proof of a vaccination or COVID test results.

State Adds Pop-Up Testing Sites

Through the next two weeks, 37 pop-up testing sites are being offered throughout the state to make it easier for residents who travel over spring break to get tested for COVID-19. The Department of Health and Human Services is especially encouraging those who travel out of state to get tested to avoid fueling outbreaks within their household or community. The Department advises those who travel to get tested three to five days after their trip and to stay home and self-quarantine during that time period. If a person doesn’t get a test, they are advised to self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.

For test site locations, please visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirustest.

Michigan Articles

  • While Michigan is experiencing some of the highest rates of increases to case numbers and hospitalizations, Governor Whitmer isn’t planning on new or additional restrictions at this time. Click here to read more.
  • Despite the ongoing pandemic and restrictions in place, some restaurants are taking the risk and opening new establishments. Click here to read more.
  • Attorney General Dana Nessel is commending the over 40,000 food establishments throughout the state that have abided by state law and adapted to changes during the pandemic. Click here to read more.

National Articles

  • Will the next school year bring a return to normal for students? Click here to read more.
  • Driven by stimulus payments and good job numbers the United States may become the global leader in economic recovery. Click here to read more.
  • We hear the term mRNA thrown around about the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but what does that term, and technology, actually mean? Click here to read more.

Additionally, the following website is a source for updated information from the administration.

STAY UPDATED

While these are very uncertain times, know the MLC Team, along with POAM, is available to answer your questions regarding this MLC April 2021 Updates. Additionally, we will provide regular updates as more information becomes available.

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