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Dear Friends,

There has been a lot of activity in Lansing over the last few weeks. My colleagues and I in the Legislature continue to make the health and safety of all Michiganders our top priority. As we continue to transition back to our normal lives and we begin to look ahead to the fall, it is important to remember that our work is not done.

I am encouraged by the many local businesses in our community that continue to carefully reopen while following the enhanced safety and social distancing guidelines, and my hope is more businesses will continue to reopen in the coming days and weeks.

As we begin our in-district work period for the next few weeks, I will be hard at work on important issues both in Lansing and around the district. We have a lot of work to do on our state’s budget, and those conversations will continue over the next few weeks.

As always, 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. Let me know if I can assist you in any way or if you have an idea to help move our state forward.

Also, please check out my Facebook page for updates on what’s going on in our state’s Capitol.


Jon Bumstead
State Senator
34th District

Bumstead: A serious lapse in judgment

Over 1 million Michigan workers have found themselves without a job as the coronavirus has taken our state’s economy by storm and devastated businesses in communities across the state.

The state made businesses close their doors and made a promise to those who were forced out of work that they would receive benefits to take care of their families.

Yet weeks passed by without people receiving their benefits or even as much as a phone call, letter or email notifying them of an issue or their status. For months, my office has been helping folks who are fed up with spending hours trying to get what was promised to them and have nowhere else to turn.

The overwhelming traffic to Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) system should have come as no surprise after the governor’s various executive orders essentially shut down the state. However, the governor and agency director did nothing, even after weeks of documented issues, to assist with the influx of cases as more and more people lost their jobs.

I understand the frustrations of those who have tried to navigate this system. I have voiced my own frustrations with the administration’s poor, untimely response to the overwhelming number of new claims that have been filed.

I personally sent the governor a letter to express my frustration with automatically enrolling over 31,000 state employees into an unemployment system that was not meeting the needs of Michigan residents. Her plan prioritized state employees over everyone else. It furloughed these employees for one day per week, partially replaced their lost wages with state unemployment benefits and provided them with the additional $600 per week in federal pandemic unemployment assistance.

While I appreciate the governor working to save the state money, it was a short-sighted plan that further burdened an already inept system. It was a serious lapse in judgment, and the people of Michigan deserve better.

The agency has worked to institute additional fraud protections, streamlined their services, extended hours and made other reforms to speed up the system. I do want to commend the staff who have been working to help people get their benefits — but I think the state can and should be doing more.

That is why I supported funding and authored language that would use federal relief funds to hire more temporary workers to assist with quickly getting claims processed and solved and getting people their money. We can certainly do better than a several-weeks-long approval process, and the measures I supported would help get us to that point.

The coronavirus outbreak has affected families, schools, local governments and businesses across the country. In Michigan, businesses have closed their doors, people have lost their jobs and state revenues are down, but my colleagues and I remain committed to getting the state back on its feet.

Michiganders have repeatedly shown their resilience in the face of adversity and we will continue facing this challenge head on.

Bumstead supports Return to Learn Plan for reopening schools

I am proud to support the joint Senate and House Return to Learn Plan for schools announced this week. The plan utilizes federal funding to assist school districts and outlines top priorities for schools as they consider the future of in-person learning.

As we look toward next years school year, the first thing we need to consider is the health and safety of students, teachers and staff. I have been working with my colleagues and have been communicating with our local schools to get an understanding of what schools need to be able to open safely.

The Return to Learn Plan outlines the top priorities for schools to allow learning to continue in a safe and healthy environment. The plan includes $1.3 billion in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to help pay for the costs faced by administrators, teachers and students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most importantly, the plan offers school districts the flexibility they need to make health and safety decisions that make the best sense for their communities, rather than being forced to follow a state-mandated, one-size-fits-all policy.

The plan includes an additional $800 per student so schools will have the resources they need to implement health and safety measures for classrooms. School districts would receive additional resources to implement smaller class sizes and other adjustments, enhance sanitation procedures, purchase personal protective equipment and make building enhancements to improve safety.

The plan also includes language to provide continued support for learning at home and ensuring resources are available to promote distance learning in the meantime.

Resources will be available for all efforts undertaken after the statewide closure of classrooms on March 16. This includes device purchases, upgrades to networks and wireless connectivity, development of digital curriculum, mailing or personal delivery of educational materials, and professional development related to virtual learning.

I’ve always believed that local schools have a better understanding than the state of what their students need to be successful. Parents, teachers and administrators who know and work with these students every day are more than capable of making these decisions based on what is happening in their local community.

I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to help get this plan finalized. I will continue to hear feedback from our community and our local schools to ensure that everyone is comfortable with opening our schools again.

Bumstead approves bill protecting nursing home residents from COVID-19

This week, I voted in support of Senate Bill 956, which is designed to prevent people who have COVID-19 from being admitted or retained in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Senate Bill 956 would prohibit people with COVID-19 who are ineligible for admission in a hospital from being admitted or retained in a nursing home unless the facility has a state-approved designated area and program to provide appropriate care necessary to the patient.

Protecting our most vulnerable residents, especially during a public health crisis, needs to be a top priority. Unfortunately, our state failed at this. When our seniors were in the most danger, the governor ordered nursing facilities with less than 80% capacity to accept patients with COVID-19, regardless of their ability to care for them or the other patients around them. This resulted in one third of our states deaths occurring among elderly and vulnerable people from nursing facilities.

The bill would require the state Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to develop and submit a plan to the House and Senate health policy committees describing its process to ensure there are dedicated facilities to provide care for COVID-19-positive patients in each of the eight health care regions.

It would also require MDHHS to evaluate the COVID-19 Regional Hubs that were previously implemented and operated during the state’s response to COVID-19 in nursing home facilities and report its findings to the health policy committees.

According to the federal government, several of the state’s nursing homes serving as regional hubs for COVID-19 patients received low-quality ratings as determined by a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rating system.

SB 956 has been approved by the Senate and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Whitmer won’t cooperate with GOP inquiry on virus in nursing homes

Gov. Whitmer has declined a request by congressional Republicans to turn over records and brief committee staffers on the state’s handling of the novel coronavirus in Michigan’s nursing homes.

Whitmer indicated to Republicans on a U.S. House coronavirus committee that she wouldn’t cooperate with their inquiry saying the panel’s investigatory authority does not lie with individual members and the committee’s jurisdiction cannot be “stretched” to include the health and safety of a state and its residents.

Read more.

Previous Executive Orders

Executive Order 2020-108 – Temporary restrictions on entry into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities.

Executive Order 2020-109 – Temporary safety measures for food-selling establishments and pharmacies and temporary relief from requirements applicable to the renewal of licenses for the food-service industry.


Executive Order 2020-110 – Temporary restrictions on certain events, gatherings and businesses.

Executive Order 2020-111 Protecting the food supply and migrant and seasonal agricultural workers from the effects of COVID-19.

Executive Order 2020-112 Rescission of certain executive orders.

Executive Order 2020-113 – Enhanced authorization of remote means for carrying out state administrative procedures.

Executive Order 2020-114 – Safeguards to protect Michigan’s workers from COVID-19. Rescission of Executive Order 2020-97.

Executive Order 2020-115Temporary restrictions on certain events, gatherings, and businesses.

Executive Order 2020-116Temporary suspension of youth work permit application requirements.

Executive Order 2020-117 Expanding child care access during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order 2020-118 Temporary prohibition against entry to premises for the purpose of removing or excluding a tenant or mobile home owner for their home.

Executive Order 2020-119Temporary restrictions on certain events, gatherings, and businesses.

Executive Order 2020-120Returning overnight camps to operation.

Executive Order 2020-121Michigan commission on law enforcement standards.

Executive Order 2020-122Ending the extension of case-initiation deadlines.


Executive Order 2020-123Enhanced protections for residents and staff of long-term care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Executive Order 2020-124 Temporary enhancements to operational capacity, flexibility, and efficiency of pharmacies.

Executive Order 2020-125 – Clarifying WDCA eligibility for workplace exposure to COVID-19.

Executive Order 2020-126 – Temporary safety measures for food-selling establishments and pharmacies and temporary relief from requirements applicable to the renewal of licenses for food-service industry.

Executive Order 2020-127Declaration of state of emergency and state of disaster related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recession of Executive Order 2020-99.  

Executive Order 2020-128 – Clarifying WDCA eligibility for workplace exposure to COVID-19.

Executive Order 2020-129 – Temporary authorization of remote participation in public meetings and hearings and temporary relief from monthly meeting requirements for school boards.

Executive Order 2020-130Michigan statewide independent living council. Rescission of Executive Order 2016-11.

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

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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