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Dear Friends,

My colleagues and I have been holding discussions in recent weeks about what we can do to start transitioning people back to their normal routines.

Several businesses have submitted their thoughts on how we can move forward and steps they are taking to keep themselves and customers safe. If you own a business or are employed by a business that was deemed essential and remained open during this time, please submit your feedback and experiences at! You can share what your company has done to keep people safe.

My office has also launched a survey allowing people to submit feedback on the state’s response to COVID-19 and the governor’s subsequent executive orders. You can find more information on that survey below.

In the meantime, my office is open remotely and my staff and I are available to assist you. You may contact us by emailing [email protected] or by telephone at 1-855-347-8034. Also, please check out my Facebook page for updates. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.


Jon Bumstead
State Senator
34th District

Bumstead seeks input about state’s response to COVID-19

As my colleagues and I begin to discuss ways we can safely transition Michiganders back to work, I wanted to gather some feedback from folks in my district on the governor’s executive orders and the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please take a moment to answer a few brief questions. Your thoughts are important to providing guidance on how we should move forward and get Michigan back on track.

You can find the survey here. Feel free to forward the link to anyone you feel may be interested in providing input on the issue.

Senate approves revisions to executive authority during states of emergency, forms COVID-19 task force

I joined my colleagues today during a special session to approve measures that would update state laws regarding states of emergency and create a bipartisan, bicameral committee to provide oversight of the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Senate Bills 857 and 858 would provide for greater legislative oversight of the governor’s powers during a state of emergency. These bills would require legislative approval to extend a state of emergency every 14 days, rather than the current 28 days.

I believe state law should be clear and should ensure that there are proper checks and balances between the Legislature and the executive branch — especially during times of emergency. Vesting unchecked power in one branch of government is not in the best interest of our state.

My colleagues and I also approved House Concurrent Resolution 20, which would create 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.

It is Legislature’s responsibility to provide oversight of state government. The governor went around the Legislature to extend the stay at home order until May 15 — the precise type of action that today’s action is meant to address. The measures approved today will provide the transparency that our constituents deserve and allow the state to be more prepared for any future crisis.

Recent executive orders

Governor extends stay home order through May 15

Earlier today, Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-59, extending her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through May 15.

While the new order relaxes some restrictions on outdoor activities and will allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back to work, it brings with it new requirements. People are now required to wear face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces, though no criminal charges will result from not wearing a mask.

Some businesses will be allowed to resume operations as long as employees practice the “enhanced social-distancing rules” spelled out in the order. These workers including garden stores, nurseries, lawn care, pest control and landscaping operations. Big box stores can reopen sections of the store that were previously closed, such as garden centers.

Retailers that don't sell “necessary” supplies can also reopen for curbside pick-up and delivery. People are allowed to leave home to pick up “non-essential” supplies, but only at the curb. These stores must otherwise remain closed to the public.

The order still requires people to stay at home and bans public and private gatherings of any size who are not part of the same household.

The new executive order allows people to travel between two of their residences in Michigan or to a residence outside of state. It also lists “boating” and “golfing” among the list of outdoor recreational activity that people can engage in outside of their homes.

Governor extends executive orders temporarily suspending evictions and imposing restrictions on price gouging

Last weekend, Gov. Whitmer signed executive orders 2020-53 and 2020-54, extending her previous orders to suspend evictions and enhance restrictions on price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order 2020-53 extends the restrictions on excessive pricing of goods, materials, emergency supplies, and consumer food items. The order will help ensure front line workers and Michiganders have access to all necessary products during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order 2020-54 continues to allow tenants and mobile home owners to remain in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic even if they are unable to stay current on their rent.

Governor extends executive order enhancing operations for pharmacists and increasing access to prescriptions

On Wednesday, Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-56, extending her previous order which gives pharmacists increased operational capacity and increases access to prescriptions.

The order continues to allow pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions for up to 60 days’ worth of supply for patients and require insurers to cover early refills for up to 90 days’ worth of supply during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here.

Other recent executive orders include:

Executive Order 2020-52 — Temporary extension of certain pesticide applicator certificates.

Executive Order 2020-53 — Enhanced restrictions on price gouging. This is a rescission of Executive Order 2020-18.

Executive Order 2020-54 — Temporary prohibition against entry to premises for the purpose of removing or excluding a tenant or mobile home owner from their home. This is a rescission of Executive Order 2020-19.

Executive Order 2020-55 — Creates the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Executive Order 2020-56 — Temporary enhancements to operational capacity, flexibility, and efficiency of pharmacies. This is a rescission of Executive Order 2020-25.

Executive Order 2020-57 — Temporary expansions in unemployment eligibility and cost-sharing. This is a rescission of Executive Order 2020-24.

Executive Order 2020-58 — Temporary suspension of certain timing requirements relating to the commencement of civil and probate actions and proceedings.

Additional information on the governor’s executive orders and other state news can be found here.

Nearly 3,000 state employees to be temporarily laid off

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer earlier this week announced she will begin laying off around 2,900 state employees as state government tax revenues begin to fall due to the coronavirus pandemic. This comes only a day after the attorney general confirmed she will be laying off over a quarter of her staff.

Nearly all of the state departments are being impacted by these layoffs and will affect employees seen as “non-essential.” These temporary layoffs are projected to save the state nearly $5 million. The state currently has a projected budget shortfall of nearly $2.6 billion due to the coronavirus.

Unemployment Insurance Agency starts how-to videos to assist with claims

For more than a million Michiganders, learning to navigate the state’s unemployment system has become a necessity in recent weeks as the coronavirus crisis has rocked the economy.

Heavy traffic to Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) system, both online and by phone, has caused delays in filing claims and having questions answered. State officials have asked for patience and have assured residents that everyone eligible for benefits will receive them.

On Tuesday, April 21, the UIA announced a series of videos, including answers to frequently asked questions, to help claimants who have experienced difficulties navigating the system. Read more.

Additional information you may find helpful can be found below:

If you think you are eligible for unemployment under the federal CARES Act and are still being denied — Log in to your MiWAM account and look under “Account Alerts” for a link asking you to file a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) application. Residents were unable to file for this before April 13. The $600 weekly benefit payments began processing on Monday, April 20.
I received a notification that I need proof of identification, what should I do? — Upload in your MiWAM account or fax a drivers’ license or government-issued identification. Acceptable forms of identification include birth certificates and social security cards. Uploading the documents by taking a picture of them or scanning them is sufficient.
How do I check the status of my claim? — Log in to your MiWAM account and select your “Claim I.D. Number.” Review the MiWAM Toolkit for more on how to navigate MiWAM.
All eligible workers will receive benefits — The UIA assures that every eligible worker in Michigan who applies for unemployment benefits will receive them. The UIA will be accepting claims and benefit applications back-dated to reflect the date on which the claimant was laid-off due to COVID-19, beyond the previously established 28-day period. Federal payments of $600 are only retroactive back to March 28.

Michigan's 34th Senate District

The 34th State Senate District includes the counties of Muskegon, Newaygo, and Oceana.

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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 34th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Jon Bumstead
4600 Connie Binsfeld Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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