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I know there is tremendous frustration and confusion over recent actions by the governor and Legislature.

The Legislature has been asking for weeks that the governor begin a transition back toward normal in both government and daily life. That we end the one-size-fits-all approach. That we listen to what hospitals and doctors around the state are saying, along with community and school leaders - they are telling me they are ready to manage the crisis and get things moving again. The only tool the Legislature had to use to bargain with the governor was renewal or extension of the emergency order under the 1976 law. We knew that ultimately, she still had the 1945 Emergency Powers law so that it was not completely necessary for her to work with us but we hoped to do so anyway.

When she unceremoniously dismissed our offers on Wednesday, we felt it left us no choice but to not extend the emergency under the 1976 act but to pass a law with the necessary protections for workers and medical providers that were covered by the orders she issued under that act. We fully expected, at that point, she would still use the 1945 act and ignore us, but without super majorities, the law restricted us from further action. Instead, she rescinded the emergency under the 1976 act and then restarted it today. This creates a whole additional level of unnecessary confusion that is compounding the confusion both in the citizens' lives and in the legal situation.

I have supported the governor in so many ways through this crisis. From the beginning, I thought she was taking many necessary actions that I supported. There were misses at times and things that needed to be talked about afterward but the spirit and motives were right and we preserved our medical community's functionality. But time has moved forward and experts in the medical community are now divided in what works and what doesn't. That means we need a robust conversation about what is the right course to take and allow a transition back to regular governing order to make our state's decisions.

None of us are asking to restart everything all at once, in the labor force, education, or government. But the people deserve to have their voices heard. For us in the U.P. particularly, we cannot doubt that if the tables were turned with southeast Michigan, my downstate colleagues would be pushing hard for splitting the state's management of the crisis. The governor's panel for the recovery, despite not having one person from the UP or small business anywhere on it, came up with a decent frame work - when will it be enacted? And where is the science that tells us restarting construction on May 7 is somehow more valid than May 1? Why are we delaying freeing our hospitals to take care of all of us again - where is the data on how many are negatively impacted health and life wise by keeping people from the hospitals?

But as frustrated as I am, I sincerely want to appeal to all my friends across the UP, this argument and frustration must not descend into chaos and civil unrest. Our system of governance will win out in the end. I know there may be a high cost for the waiting - I myself may lose everything I hold dear at my own family farm. But we must fight our urge to panic or lash out and work the legitimate, legal options we have. Those we disagree with are not our mortal enemies, they are our neighbors and fellow citizens. Let's not forget that peaceful disputes are one of the reasons America has remained a great and successful republic.

While I disagree with the governor's recent actions, I know she is not seeking to be a dictator or end citizens' rights any longer than is necessary to maximize the preservation of life. Please, let's give each other grace and work hard for our beliefs about the situation without sacrificing what we believe about the fantastic system of government that is our heritage from our founders and God. Pray for our nation, pray for the president and the governor, pray for an end to this plague, and for each of us to remember to love our neighbors as ourselves.


Ed McBroom

On Your Side

My staff and I continue to serve you and we’re available to provide help where we can. Please call 866-305-2038 toll-free or 517-373-7840. People may also email my office at [email protected].

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Updated COVID-19 figures

On Thursday, state health officials reported 980 new cases of COVID-19 and 119 additional deaths, which bring the state’s total number of positive cases to 41,379 and total number of deaths to 3,789. In the 38th Senate District, there have been 76 cases and 13 deaths. This information and more is available at

Senate ensures resources, protections during emergency

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The Senate on Thursday approved a bill that would ensure resources and protections are in place for individuals, schools and health care providers during the battle against COVID-19.

The number of newly reported COVID-19-related deaths and new virus infections is slowing, and recoveries are increasing, but we are by no means out of the woods. We should expect the virus to be around for a while longer. But even as the virus remains a health risk, the economic toll is getting worse by the day. More than a million workers from our state have lost jobs in the wake of the governor’s shutdown. We have to get people back to work safely, and they should be trusted to do so. The measures approved today will help residents who are affected while also providing clear guidelines for reopening the economy.

Senate Bill 858 would put several COVID-19 executive orders into law and extend those that need to continue to help efforts to fight the virus and deal with its impacts.

Among the 28 orders included in SB 858 are those regarding expanded unemployment benefits (EO 2020-57), distance learning for schools (EO 2020-35), and liability protections for health care workers treating patients in innovative ways (EO 2020-39).

The bill also would set certain health standards for businesses, places of public accommodation, and places of public service that are open for in-person work through May 30. The standards include following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines, enhanced cleaning provisions and personal protective equipment for employees, avoiding the sharing of tools and equipment, and promoting remote work.

The bill does not include or extend the state of emergency declaration or the governor’s stay-at-home order (EO 2020-59).

As a co-equal branch of government, the Legislature is trying to work with the governor because representing our districts is our job. One person making all the shots, especially in a one-size-fits-all approach, is not working, and the voices of our residents need to be heard as we represent them through the legislative process.

SB 858 now goes to the governor.

Senate forms COVID-19 task force

Last week the Senate approved the creation of a bipartisan, bicameral committee to provide oversight of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

House Concurrent Resolution 20 established the Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic to more fully review Michigan’s preparedness for and response to the virus outbreak. This bipartisan, bicameral committee will have the ability to subpoena information related to the governor’s actions thus far during the pandemic.

I will also be having committee hearings on relevant pandemic issues as chair of the Senate Oversight Committee. I believe we can use this opportunity to improve the state’s response going forward and provide some checks and balances between the Legislature and the executive branch.

Resolutions urge resuming of medical procedures, getting Michiganders back to work

The Senate voted Tuesday to approve two resolutions that encourage Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to adopt the updated federal guidelines for essential workers and begin getting Michiganders safely back to work.

Senate Resolution 112 calls on the governor to join other states in adopting the most recent federal guidelines for which employees are “essential,” which would allow more workers to return to work who can safely do so.

In mid-March the federal government outlined standards for essential workers. Whitmer subsequently adopted the recommended guidelines for essential workers in Michigan. As new information and research were made available, the federal government issued amended guidelines on two separate occasions: the first set of changes came on March 28 and the most recent on April 17.

The Senate also approved SR 111 urging the governor to revise Executive Order 2020-17 and allow hospitals and health care facilities to resume elective procedures.

The executive order, which took effect March 21, required hospitals, freestanding surgical outpatient facilities, dental facilities and all state-operated outpatient facilities to postpone all nonessential procedures. More than 12 states with similar executive restrictions have since relaxed those restrictions and deemed it safe for health care providers to resume elective procedures.

Have you received your federal stimulus payment?

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Mortgage help available

The MiMortgage Relief Partnership was recently announced, with over 200 financial institutions partnering to ensure that no one experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 will lose their home during the public health crisis.

Michigan’s financial institutions have been working hard to assist their customers during these unprecedented times. This partnership will encourage uniformity in available options for consumers in need of assistance, regardless of financial institution.

Financial relief available to businesses hurting from COVID-19 shutdown

Businesses throughout the U.P. are experiencing unprecedented hardship due to the coronavirus outbreak and the necessary measures that have been taken to help reduce the spread of the virus. Thankfully, there are some resources available to help minimize the losses that are being caused by this unprecedented situation.

Economic development organizations from across the Upper Peninsula have come together to share the most relevant resources to help with workforce and financial impacts. For more information on this uniquely U.P. effort, go to or call 906-563-1212.

State beefs-up unemployment efforts

No one wants to be without work, and the fact that over one million people have filed jobless claims is not a good thing.

But, for those who have lost work because of the governor’s response to the coronavirus, the state has taken steps to improve the Unemployment Insurance Agency.

The UIA has extended its call center hours and added hundreds of customer facing staff. More than 600 UIA employees are now dedicated to answering questions over the phone and through the website. The agency has also built in new tools to its online system to connect to an online resource of more than 100 staff to resolve technical issues like locked accounts. An equivalent of 300 full-time staff will also be added to the agency soon.

The fastest and easiest way to file and certify a claim is online at where it takes around 25 minutes. More than 90% of all claims are filed and certified on the website. People are urged to use the site during off-peak hours between 8 p.m. - 8 a.m. For anyone having difficulty with their account, the UIA Call Center (866-500-0017) is available 8 a.m. -6 p.m., Mon-Fri and 7 a.m. -2 p.m. on Saturday.

Michigan's 38th Senate District

The 38th State Senate District includes the counties of Alger, Baraga, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Marquette, Menominee, Ontonagon, and Schoolcraft in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the state Senate. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to forward this on to others who may be interested in receiving the 38th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Ed McBroom
7200 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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