Health Care

Bills axing ‘tampon tax’ sail through House committee 

BY: - September 10, 2021

Two bills aimed at ending taxes on menstrual products on Thursday passed through the House Tax Policy Committee.  House Bill 5267, introduced by Rep. Bryan Posthumus (R-Cannon Twp.), and House Bill 4270, introduced by state Rep. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper Woods), would exempt menstrual products from the state’s sales tax and use tax, respectively.  Rep. Steve […]

COVID-19 vaccines or weekly tests to be mandated for millions of U.S. workers

BY: - September 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — More than 80 million employees of private businesses in the U.S. will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing as part of the Biden administration’s latest strategy for combating the still-surging coronavirus pandemic. The upcoming vaccine rule for companies with at least 100 employees is one plank of an increasingly […]

Whitmer punts again on statewide mask mandate while cases rise in schools

BY: - September 9, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer isn’t ready for the state to issue a statewide mask mandate for students, despite reports of COVID-19 outbreaks in dozens of schools across the state.  The state reported, as of Tuesday, 31 K-12 schools and four universities are reporting new or ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks. “We are relying on school districts to work […]

Medical, biz leaders urge vaccinations amid rising COVID-19 hospitalizations

BY: - September 9, 2021

Michigan’s medical and business leaders convened Thursday to sound the alarm about the possibility of an incoming fourth wave of COVID-19, stressing that the state is at a “tipping point” in dealing with the virus while urging unvaccinated Michiganders to get the vaccine. “We truly need to get the message across that our best treatment […]

Biden to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for federal employees and contractors, reports say

BY: - September 9, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with no opt-out for testing under an executive order that President Joe Biden is expected to sign Thursday, according to several news outlets. The new requirement will be rolled out as Biden gives a major address Thursday afternoon on new national strategies for combating […]

Unemployment head tells House panel she ‘absolutely’ takes responsibility for agency failures

BY: - September 9, 2021

Liza Estlund Olson, the acting director of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), testified before a state House panel Thursday on unemployment system problems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Olson’s appearance before the Oversight Committee comes after Republican lawmakers have leveled withering criticism at the Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration over its handling of […]

COMMENTARY

Column: Michigan’s K-12 budget is a good first step, but kids deserve more in the future

BY: - September 9, 2021

My son started fifth grade last month, and many more kids around the state are starting school this week. Back to school season is always filled with excitement — learning new subjects and seeing friends — and anxiety.  Last year had a significant learning curve , filled with figuring out what “synchronous” and “asynchronous” meant, […]

Federal pandemic jobless benefits are gone. Experts say state lawmakers must now protect workers.

BY: - September 9, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders saw their COVID-related federal jobless aid end this week, leaving individuals and families to face yet another onslaught of challenges in a pandemic that is far from over — from state unemployment laws that policy experts said are riddled with problems to unaffordable childcare barring people from returning to the […]

31 Michigan schools report COVID-19 outbreaks

BY: - September 8, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Wednesday that a total of 964,317 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 20,447 have died from the virus — an additional 2,364 cases and 51 deaths since Tuesday. The deaths announced include 10 deaths identified during a vital records review. The DHHS conducts this […]

DHHS updates guidance for students with COVID-19 exposure

BY: - September 8, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has updated its recommendations for students who have been exposed to COVID-19 at school, depending on the student’s vaccination status, level of masking, social distancing and more. The new guidance — which is not a mandate — comes as the Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to […]

Whitmer calls on GOP Legislature to repeal Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban 

BY: - September 8, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged the Michigan Legislature on Tuesday to repeal a 1931 state law criminalizing abortion after the U.S. Supreme Court last week issued an unsigned order allowing a Texas abortion ban law to go into effect. Experts say the recent SCOTUS opinion signals the fall of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 case […]

Employees works at Ford Motor Plant

Oxfam: Michigan falls to 29th best state for workers in 2021

BY: - September 8, 2021

The Boston-based nonprofit Oxfam has ranked Michigan as the 29th best state for workers overall in its most recent annual report on working policies and conditions. Michigan’s 2021 ranking is a far cry from what it was in 2020 — then 13th in the country overall, nearly cracking the top 10 best states to work […]