MLC February 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 February Updates.

This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, February 22, 2021.

Monday, February 22 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 5,914
  • Total Cases: 581,403
  • Weekly Deaths: 204
  • Total Deaths: 15,362
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 8,716
  • Total Cases: 821,016
  • Weekly Deaths: 406
  • Total Deaths: 14,351
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 6,706
  • Total Cases: 656,358
  • Weekly Deaths: 217
  • Total Deaths: 11,982
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 12,081
  • Total Cases: 1,175,655
  • Weekly Deaths: 301
  • Total Deaths: 20,303
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 4,290
  • Total Cases: 559,998
  • Weekly Deaths: 118
  • Total Deaths: 6,284

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • This afternoon, the House Budget Committee will begin marking up the text of the proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 packages, one of several last steps in the reconciliation process. The House is expected to vote on the bill later this week, likely Friday or Saturday. As House Democrats aren’t expecting support from any Republican lawmakers, it will very likely be a party-line vote. You can read the bill text here.
  • Tomorrow, February 23, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) will hold a hearing for the confirmation of Pres. Biden’s nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. He will then testify in front of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday, February 24. Both committees will ultimately vote on whether to send his nomination to the Senate floor. Becerra served in the U.S House of Representatives for 24 years, before being appointed California’s Attorney General (AG) to succeed Kamala Harris when she elected to the Senate. He won the election to a full term as AG in 2018. While in Congress, Becerra helped draft and pass the Affordable Care Act.
  • This week, several committees will hold pandemic-related hearings. Tomorrow, February 23, the presidents of five vaccine manufacturers will testify before the Subcommittee for Oversight and Investigations in the House Energy and Commerce Committee on the expanding availability of COVID-19 vaccines. The manufacturers include Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Novavax, Inc. You can watch the hearing here.

Over $50 Million in Small Business Grants Awarded

Nearly 6,000 small businesses throughout the state have received funding through the Michigan Small Business Survival Grant Program. Funds can be used to address urgent needs by businesses experiencing a significant financial hardship due to COVID-19. It allows for grants of up to $20,000 to be awarded to businesses that are fully closed, and of up to $15,000 to businesses that have been partially closed, or otherwise are open and can demonstrate an impact. For more information, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • COVID-19 variants have been found in two additional prisons in the state. Click here to read more.
  • During a recent visit to Michigan, President Biden expressed optimism that the country may have normalcy by the end of the year. Click here to read more.
  • As schools work to return to in-person learning, new CDC guidelines are making that a bit tougher. Click here to read more.

National Articles

  • Historically speaking, how does the current pandemic compare to others? And in what ways have pandemics previously shaped societies? Click here to read more.
  • According to Dr. Fauci, we may have to continue to wear masks into 2022. Click here to read more.
  • President Biden is ordering flags to half staff to mark the over 500,000 deaths from COVID-19. Click here to read more.

This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Tuesday, February 16, 2021.

Tuesday, February 16 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 6,072
  • Total Cases: 575,489
  • Weekly Deaths: 253
  • Total Deaths: 15,158
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 12,855
  • Total Cases: 812,300
  • Weekly Deaths: 3,561
  • Total Deaths: 13,945
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 8.908
  • Total Cases: 649,652
  • Weekly Deaths: 306
  • Total Deaths: 11,765
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 15,486
  • Total Cases: 1,163,574
  • Weekly Deaths: 334
  • Total Deaths: 20,002
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 5,339
  • Total Cases: 555,708
  • Weekly Deaths: 111
  • Total Deaths: 6,166

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • Following several House committee markups on key components of Pres. Biden’s American Rescue Plan stimulus package last week, Democrats and the House Budget Committee are eagerly working on finalizing legislative text that is expected to go to the floor for voting as soon as next week. Key benefits from the previous round of relief are set to expire on March 14.
  • Please find a detailed breakdown of the proposal from our friends at Foley here.

Dr. Khaldun Named to Federal Task Force

President Biden announced the non-Federal members of his COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, which includes Michigan’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. Throughout the pandemic, Dr. Khaldun has been the state’s lead strategist advising the state’s response to COVID-19. She joins 11 other individuals from throughout the country. The task force has been charged with issuing a range of recommendations to help inform the response and recovery effort. For more information, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • Hospitals and health departments aren’t getting enough vaccine supply to keep up with demand. Click here to read more.
  • Workers on farms, in food processing, and funeral homes are next on the list to receive the vaccine. Click here to read more.
  • The Beaumont Health Systems has lifted some visitation restrictions for patients who don’t have or aren’t suspected of having COVID-19. Click here to read more.
  • The State is stepping up their efforts to ensure equity in the vaccine distribution. Click here to read more.

National Articles

  • A year later, the U.S. remains unprepared to properly utilize genetic surveillance to track new and more contagious variants. Click here to read more.
  • The National Governors Association sent a letter to President Biden to stress the need for better vaccine coordination. Click here to read more.
  • What can a person safely do after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine? Click here to read more.
  • Three sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt have tested positive for COVID-19 and are self-isolating. Click here to read more.

This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, February 8, 2021.

Monday, February 8 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 8,110
  • Total Cases: 569,417
  • Weekly Deaths: 296
  • Total Deaths: 14,905
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 16,287
  • Total Cases: 799,445
  • Weekly Deaths: 384
  • Total Deaths: 10,384
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 12,353
  • Total Cases: 640,744
  • Weekly Deaths: 1,846
  • Total Deaths: 11,459
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 19,475
  • Total Cases: 1,148,088
  • Weekly Deaths: 409
  • Total Deaths: 19,668
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 7,204
  • Total Cases: 550,369
  • Weekly Deaths: 158
  • Total Deaths: 6,055

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • This week, nine House committees will begin work on marking up Pres. Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 packages, now known as the “American Rescue Plan.” Each committee will draft and mark up legislation that will then get sent to the Budget Committee for compilation and markups next week. This timetable is tight but necessary in order to meet Biden’s March 14th deadline.
  • Last Friday afternoon, House members voted 219-209 to adopt the budget resolution passed by the Senate early Friday morning. That resolution is the basis for reconciliation, which will allow Senate Democrats to ultimately pass a package with a simple majority vote.

Advisory Council Created

Through Executive Order, Governor Whitmer created the Student Recovery Advisory Council. It will work to advise the governor to ensure students have to tools and resources needed to get back on track following the pandemic. This includes tools for academic support, ways to improve systems for physical and mental health, and recommendations on additional support such as summer school and before and after school programs. The Council will be comprised of 29 members and will be housed within the Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. For more information, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • The State received Federal approval to make direct payments to the families of children who previously relied on receiving meals at school. Click here to read more.
  • The City of Detroit has expanded eligibility for who can receive the vaccine. Click here to read more.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services is moving forward with a voluntary program for testing educators weekly. Click here to read more.

National Articles

  • President Biden is likely to utilize NFL stadiums as part of the nation’s vaccination effort. Click here to read more.
  • Congress is considering changes to the eligibility requirements for the next round of stimulus payments. Click here to read more.
  • Congressman Ron Wright (R-Texas) has become the first member of Congress to pass away from COVID-19. Click here to read more.

This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, February 1, 2021.

Monday, February 1 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 10,227
  • Total Cases: 561,307
  • Weekly Deaths: 283
  • Total Deaths: 14,609
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 22,321
  • Total Cases: 783,158
  • Weekly Deaths: 398
  • Total Deaths: 10,000
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 15,163
  • Total Cases: 628,391
  • Weekly Deaths: 261
  • Total Deaths: 9,613
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 23,850
  • Total Cases: 1,128,613
  • Weekly Deaths: 461
  • Total Deaths: 19,259
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 9,248
  • Total Cases: 543,165
  • Weekly Deaths: 198
  • Total Deaths: 5,897

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • This morning, 10 Senate Republicans, including Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rob Portman (R-OH), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Todd Young (R-IN), Jerry Moran (R-KS), and Mike Rounds (R-SD) released a $618 billion COVID-19 relief proposal that includes $130 billion for unemployment insurance ($300 per week), $220 billion in direct payments ($1000 per person) and $20 billion for a national vaccination program. It is a counter-proposal to President Biden’s $1.9 trillion packages. The group of lawmakers will meet with Biden at 5:00 pm EST this evening at the White House to discuss areas of agreement between the two proposals. Please find the letter they sent to President Biden yesterday here.
  • The new federal mask mandate requiring travelers to wear masks in airplanes, buses, ride-shares, ships, and subways, will go into effect at 11:59 pm EST Monday night. This mandate also requires masks to be worn in airports, train stations, and other transportation hubs. TSA and federal authorities will be tasked with enforcing the mandate; anyone not in compliance may face criminal and civil penalties.
  • Last Thursday, Pres. Biden signed executive orders aimed at restoring the Affordable Care Act and access to Medicaid. These are the first of several actions that the administration will take to roll back Trump policies that cut both fundings to the HealthCare.gov marketplace and access to healthcare. In remarks, Biden noted that access to healthcare right now is absolutely critical for all Americans.

Vaccine Advisory Commission Holds First Meeting

The Protect Michigan Commission hosted its first meeting and unveiled Michigan’s COVID-19 Interim Vaccination Strategy. Established by Executive Order, the commission serves as an advisory group to Governor Whitmer and the Department of Health and Human Services. The strategy developed will help the state reach its goal to get 70% of Michigan residents age 16 and older vaccinated as quickly as possible. The Commission will complete its work and submit a report to the governor by December 31, 2021. To read the interim strategy, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • A recent study showed that residents in certain counties were more susceptible to getting the virus and to die from it. Click here to read more.
  • With many residents working from home, the MEDC launched the Redevelopment Ready Communities, which helps local communities attract developers. Click here to read more.

National Articles

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 February Updates. Additionally, we will provide regular updates as more information becomes available.

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