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Dear Friends,

I am disappointed in the governor’s decision to further restrict the lives of Michigan residents. It is vital that we protect the health and welfare of everyone in our state, but we must be thoughtful about how each person’s life is impacted by this order.

We have witnessed residents following guidelines of social distancing, practicing good hygiene and wearing masks and gloves. We’ve been able to go the gas station, grocery store and other public places, while keeping ourselves and our fellow residents safe. Because we have been able to do this, we need to get Michigan back to work.

While not everyone can return to work tomorrow, we can have individuals that engage in outdoor activities for work begin the process of jumpstarting our economy. As an example, landscapers, builders and greenhouse employees can adhere to guidelines and return to work safely — and we should let them.

Unfortunately, Gov. Whitmer has made it clear that a one-size-fits-all approach is best for Michigan. While I may disagree with this approach, I plan to continue working with the governor and my colleagues in the Legislature to develop a plan to reopen businesses and get Michiganders back to work.

As we progress toward April 30, and we continue to see the curve flatten, we should incrementally get the rest of our state transitioning back to their jobs.

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

Legislature limits state of emergency through April 30

On Tuesday, I attended a special Senate session to approve a resolution that would limit Michigan’s state of emergency to 23 days through April 30. State law requires the Legislature to approve an emergency declaration that lasts beyond the initial 28-day period.

The governor last week asked for a 70-day extension of Michigan’s emergency declaration, but I, along with many legislators considered that to be too long given the rapidly changing information surrounding COVID-19. In the days following her proposal, my office received several calls and emails from residents concerned about the impact that a more-than-two-month shutdown will have on their livelihoods.

I instead joined my colleagues in supporting Senate Concurrent Resolution 24, which limits the governor’s emergency and disaster declaration to a 23-day extension through April 30. The resolution does not require the governor’s signature to take effect.

I think this was a good starting point that addresses the issue for the remainder of the month, while allowing us to revisit the decision when new information becomes available. In the meantime, we need to continue limiting the spread of the virus and start looking at ways to safely get people back to their normal daily routines.

Governor expands “stay home” executive order

Yesterday, Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-42, extending her prior “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through the end of April. As with the prior order, this limits gatherings and travel and requires all workers who are not necessary to sustain or protect life to stay home. Individuals may still do things like go to the store for groceries, go to the pharmacy and enjoy certain outdoor activities.

Executive Order 2020-42 contains more stringent limitations on stores to reduce the amount of traffic and limit interactions with workers and among shoppers. Large stores must limit the number of people in the store to four customers per every 1,000 square feet of customer floor space, while smaller stores must stay at or below 25% of the fire code occupancy limit. All stores are now also required to institute measures to ensure customers waiting for entry remain at least six feet apart.

The order also prohibits all businesses from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses who remain open are required to adopt social distancing practices and other measures to protect both workers and customers.

All public and private gatherings among persons outside a single household remain temporarily prohibited. Though you may leave the house to get groceries or needed supplies, the new order encourages people to limit the number of family members running errands as much as possible.

People may still engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, or any other recreational activity, so long as they continue to follow suggested guidelines like remaining at least six feet from people who do not live in their household and other restrictions imposed by prior executive orders. Despite many courses adopting responsible social distancing practices, playing golf still remains prohibited at this time. Travel for vacations or for any other purpose is now prohibited. Read more here.

Michiganders have made tremendous sacrifices to battle the coronavirus. They have sacrificed many of their freedoms and, in many cases, their livelihoods. They have risen to the challenge and are washing their hands, practicing social distancing, wearing masks in public and other suggested protocols to keep both themselves and others safe.

Many businesses could reopen next week with reasonable precautions. This would be a boost to families who are struggling and our economy, while also allowing folks to begin the process of returning to normal life. Unfortunately, the governor’s latest order does not reflect trust in Michigan residents. Yesterday’s order does not include the commonsense revisions that both residents and our economy need at this time.

I, like many of my colleagues, would prefer to see a strategic application of her executive order, allowing people in regions with little to no growth in infection rates to return to work to support their families so long as proper safety protocols are in place.

I encourage each of you to contact her office to share your thoughts on the most recent executive order. Click here for information on how to contact the governor's office.

Other recent executive orders include:

EO-2020-37 - Temporary restrictions on entry into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities — Rescission of Executive Order 2020-7. Read more here.

EO-2020-38 - Temporary extensions of certain FOIA deadlines to facilitate COVID-19 emergency response efforts. Read more here.

EO-2020-39 - Temporary relief from certain restrictions and requirements governing the provision of emergency medical services. Read more here.

EO-2020-40 - Temporary relief from certain credentialing requirements for motor carriers transporting essential supplies, equipment, and persons. Read more here.

EO-2020-41 - Encouraging the use of electronic signatures and remote notarization, witnessing, and visitation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more here.

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

Unemployment Insurance Agency extends call center hours

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The state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has been receiving an extremely high volume of calls and online submissions and the system is drastically overwhelmed.

Filing online remains the fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits. In addition, applying online during the off-peak hours of 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. should help expedite the process.

The agency has now implemented a system in an effort to assist heavy traffic on their website. People whose last name begins with A-L and wish to file online should file on Monday, Wednesday or Friday, while those whose last name begins with M-Z should file on Sunday, Tuesday or Thursday. Saturdays are for those who missed the assigned days above.

For those who prefer telephone, those whose last name begins with A-L should call on Monday or Wednesday, while those whose last name begins with M-Z should call on Tuesday or Thursday. Friday and Saturday are for those who missed the above opportunities. The call center has also extended its hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The 24-hour website operates faster when there are fewer people on the site at any given time. The UIA also urges Michiganders using the website to expect longer load times. It may take several minutes for a page to load at this time. Users are asked to be patient and not click more than once to reload a page.

Click here for a fact sheet for claiming unemployment benefits.

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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