The House approved a series of bills aimed at addressing concerns of educators and parents as students prepare to start the new school year during the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate passed the package Saturday, Aug. 15 with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signing the bills into law; With every region of the state experiencing an uptick in new cases of COVID-19 over the past several weeks, and daily case counts in late July exceeding 50 cases per million statewide, Capital Building Lansing CroppedGov. Whitmer’s signed an executive order extending the Emergency Act to Sept. 4th — the Friday leading up to the Labor Day weekend; Gov. Whitmer vetoed Republican-sponsored legislation (SB 899) that would have given the medical community and nursing homes broad immunity protections against lawsuits regarding COVID-19 treatment; More than 2.5 million people voted in the Michigan primary, breaking the August 2018 record of 2.2 million, according to figures reported by the Secretary of State’s office; An appeal of a lower court’s ruling dismissing lawsuits challenging the state’s automatic voter registration, challenging ballot and proof of residency requirements will not be heard by the Michigan Supreme Court; House Republican Judiciary Committee Chair Graham Filler said he wants to hold a hearing right away to protect businesses and universities from the inevitable lawsuits over allegations that they are not protecting customers or students from COVID-19; and the Legislature passed and Gov. Whitmer signed into law HB 5265 and SB 373 to resolve the $2.2 billion hole in the state’s budget by using primarily federal money, $350 million from the Rainy Day Fund, fund shifts, and $483 million in hard cuts.

For more information on these and other legislative issues click here for the August 2020 Karoub Report.