Michigan House Passes COVID-19 Measures
Michigan’s House passed COVID-19 guidelines for nursing homes, schools and local governments meeting online, safeguarded unemployment benefits, and extended the validity of expired drivers’ licenses and registration.
First passed by the Senate last week Thursday, the measures made their way through the Michigan House on Tuesday and are being sent to Gov. Whitmer’s desk.
The guidance for nursing homes is based off of recommendations from Whitmer’s task force.
The bill says patients diagnosed with COVID-19 cannot stay at or return to nursing facilities unless they have recovered from the virus or the state has certified that the nursing home has the ability to isolate COVID-19 patients in a designated area.
It also says the health department and Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs have until by Nov. 15 to come up with indoor and outdoor visitation policies and plans to improve testing and data reporting.
On Tuesday, the House also passed two other Senate-approved bills. One would allow retirees to help the UIA or MIOSHA without forfeiting their retirement benefits. And another bill is a plan to safely reopen state unemployment offices and Secretary of State branches.
This comes after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled against Gov. Whitmer at the beginning of October, declaring the law she used to extend Michigan’s State of Emergency, passed by Congress in 1945, was unconstitutional.
Michigan was lawfully under a state of emergency back in March, and that gave the governor power to issue executive orders for things like limiting crowds and wearing masks. But by the end of April, many lawmakers were anxious to reopen the state, so the Republican-led legislature decided not to pass an extension for the emergency.
That’s when the governor extended the state of emergency herself, saying she was allowed to do so under the law from 1945.
Now that the Supreme Court declared that law unconstitutional, any executive orders she issued after April 30 are void.
Whitmer and Congress now have to work together to address the coronavirus pandemic in Michigan.