Download graphics to view this image
Download images to view this photo

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Taking care of the health of our families, neighbors and ourselves is of the highest importance as we continue to combat the coronavirus crisis.

Social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, and practicing safe, healthy habits are crucial while at work, home, or picking up goods from the store. We need to get through this health crisis quickly to save lives, and then focus on rebuilding our economy and returning to our everyday lives.


Resources for workers/families affected by coronavirus or closures

211: 2-1-1 connects people with thousands of nonprofit and government resources in their area, such as food pantries, bill pay assistance, family services, utility assistance and more. The 211 system is available by dialing 2-1-1 via phone or by going to

MI Bridges: This consists of benefits and coverage through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, such as food assistance, health care and state emergency relief. MI Bridges can be accessed via their website at


Stay up to date

With the information surrounding the coronavirus changing day by day, it is important that individuals keep up on reliable information sources.

The latest information is available at and

Those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus can call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

For a complete list and more specific information on each executive order and to ensure you have the most up-to-date information on newly issued directives, visit this website.


Revisiting governor’s executive authority, evaluating state action during COVID-19

Today, the Senate was in session and we voted to rein in the governor’s emergency powers, so the executive and legislative branches would need to work together during times like this. One-person decision-making leads to mistakes. Yes, we need to take strong, aggressive actions, but by working together, we can improve the decisions on the front-end to avoid confusion or unduly hurting people.

Additionally, I voted to form a special oversight committee to review Gov. Whitmer’s actions in order to ensure accountability and transparency. A governor unilaterally making significant decisions regarding our health, tax dollars and economy opens the door for problems, and unfortunately, Gov. Whitmer has made some decisions that deserve close examination and another perspective.

For example, she was recently caught giving a nearly $200,000 no-bid government health care contract to her political operatives. They were paid with our tax dollars to collect private COVID-19 health care information from citizens throughout our state. This is troubling because this same firm provides detailed information on voters for her political campaign and Democrat campaigns throughout our state. The governor, after being publicly caught, reversed her position and ended the contract.

Additionally, Gov. Whitmer went on national television to criticize President Trump for not granting Michigan emergency designation status, only for us to find out, she failed to even apply for the emergency designation at the time. After a week passed and the Trump Administration was asked why Michigan had not received the emergency designation yet, which would open our state to receiving more federal resources to combat coronavirus, the Trump Administration said Michigan’s governor still had not applied. Finally, after this embarrassing blunder, Gov. Whitmer submitted the request and promptly started receiving this important federal assistance. In totality, the governor submitted the application nearly four weeks late. How far did we fall behind due to that four-week delay? Are there other resources the governor is not tapping?

These examples, along with many more regarding the specifics of her executive orders, are why oversight is necessary. We are setting up this committee to ask questions and help in a collaborative manner to produce the best results for the people of Michigan. Even during emergencies, powerful elected officials need to be accountable and know there is another set of eyes watching and additional minds asking questions and providing input.

Bottom line, coronavirus is a health crisis that will also severely damage our economy and destroy small businesses and jobs. We need to work together to get through this and then rebuild. I pray you and your family stay safe, and that we can all do our part during these difficult times.


Aric Nesbitt
State Senator
26th District


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

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.

Nesbitt’s office is attempting to help with individual cases, but notes they too are having difficulty receiving responses. The senator sent a letter to the agency’s director this week acknowledging the situation they are facing, but strongly requesting that constituents receive responses in a timely fashion - as some have been waiting many weeks and need answers and help to pay their bills.

To help alleviate some issues, the UIA recently 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 for employers can be found here, and some helpful information for employees 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 26th Senate District

The 26th State Senate District includes all of Allegan and Van Buren counties, as well as the city of Kentwood and Gaines Township in Kent County.

Download images to view this photo

Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the 26th Senate District of Michigan. 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 26th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Aric Nesbitt
6100 Connie B. Binsfeld Office Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Visit my website at: