June 25, 2021
As summer begins, we are fortunate that our collective efforts are paying off, allowing us to move forward in a new, post-pandemic normal. Many thanks to the frontline workers, first responders, and those who have already received one or both doses of the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.
Included in this newsletter are upcoming events and opportunities for you to meet and engage with me, including my first in-person coffee hour of the year. I am excited to get back to in-person events. I am also including updates on UIA offices reopening, changes to COVID-19 restrictions and how they may affect you, information on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plans for childcare and early childhood education, Child Tax Credit resources and what that means for you, and more.
If my office can be of assistance to you or your family, please call me at 517-373-2417 or email me at SenRBayer@senate.michigan.gov.
Let’s engage! Mark your calendar with these events.
Coffee and Conversation with Sen. Bayer
WHEN: Friday, July 9 from Noon to 1 p.m.
WHERE: Children’s Park, 201 S. Broadway St., #335, Lake Orion, MI 48362
Virtual Coffee Hour
WHEN: Monday, July 12 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Sen. Bayer’s Facebook Page
Senior Summit Town Hall
WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: Beverly Park, 18801 Beverly Road, Beverly Hills, MI, 48025
UIA TO OPEN OFFICES JUNE 30
On Wednesday, June 23, the Unemployment Insurance Agency announced it would be offering in-person unemployment insurance services at 12 local unemployment offices starting June 30, though only by appointment. They have been closed for more than a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Residents across Michigan can begin scheduling appointments online. Each appointment is offered in 15-minute intervals and can be scheduled up to a week in advance. Appointments will be available 8:15 a.m. through 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Offices offering in-person appointments include:
The agency will still retain some COVID-19 safety protocols such as requesting customers wear a mask prior to entry. Customers should bring their driver’s license or photo ID and any other documents pertinent to their claim.
Being late for an appointment can cause it to be rescheduled. The UIA anticipates serving 900 customers a day through the in-person option. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
DELTA DENTAL SCHOLARSHIP NEWS
The Delta Dental Foundation (DDF) has established a $25,000 Diversity Dental Student Scholarship. The scholarship will be awarded annually to two students from systemically underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds entering dental school in Michigan.
The DDF recognizes that diversifying the dental field is one way to tackle oral health disparities in health care. Right now, fewer than 10% of licensed dentists are Black, Hispanic or Indigenous. Financial concerns are one reason many prospective dental students decide not to pursue a career as a dentist. The hope is that by providing upfront financial support, the Diversity Dental Student Scholarship will encourage more students to enter dental school.
Incoming students at both dental schools in Michigan, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry and the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, are eligible to apply for the scholarship.
You can learn more at DeltaDentalMI.com/Awards.
MI TREASURY RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
The Michigan Department of Treasury has put together a series of online educational events specifically for small businesses and nonprofit organizations. The Treasury’s free educational events provide an opportunity to learn about important tax processing and tax compliance topics as well as Treasury updates. Their goal through this outreach program is to enhance communication, foster a culture of taxpayer service, and identify continuous improvement projects through your feedback.
The 2021 Treasury Outreach calendar of events is continually updated at Michigan.gov/TreasuryOutreach.
CHILD TAX CREDIT PAYMENTS TO BEGIN JULY 15
On Monday, June 21, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer urged parents to file a federal income tax return, if they haven’t yet done so, or use the Non-filer Sign-up Toolin order to be eligible for federal Child Tax Credit payments.
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 increased the federal Child Tax Credit to $3,600 per year for children under 6 years old and $3,000 per year for children 6–17 years old. The tax credit will be issued as a monthly payment and will not count as additional income that could affect a family’s eligibility for public assistance.
Families meeting the guidelines will receive an Internal Revenue Service-issued check or direct deposit on July 15, August 13, September 15, October 15, November 15, and December 15. The new maximum credit is available to taxpayers with a modified Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of:
Low-income families with children are eligible for this crucial tax relief – including those who have not made enough money to be required to file taxes. If a couple makes under $24,800, a head of household makes under $18,650, or a single filer makes under $12,400, and they have not filed their taxes, the Non-filer Sign-up Tool can be used to sign up for the federal Child Tax Credit.
Recent estimates from Columbia University’s Center on Poverty & Social Policy find that this expanded Child Tax Credit will reduce child poverty by 45% overall, by 52% among Black children, by 62% among Native American children, and effectively eliminate the most extreme forms of child poverty in America.
Find more information at ChildTaxCredit.gov.
CHANGES TO COVID RESTRICTIONS AS OF JUNE 22
On Thursday, June 17, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that effective June 22, capacity in both indoor and outdoor settings would increase to 100% and the state would no longer require residents to wear a face mask.
Nearly five million Michiganders ages 16 and older have received their first vaccine dose, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. And, according to data from the Michigan Care Improvement Registry, half of Michigan residents have completed their vaccination and more than 60% have gotten their first shots.
Case rates, percent positivity, and hospitalizations have all plummeted over the past several weeks. Currently, Michigan is experiencing 24.3 cases per million and has recorded a 1.9% positivity rate over the last seven days.
Some orders will remain in effect to protect vulnerable populations in corrections, long-term care, and agriculture. Public health measures will continue for reporting requirements and COVID testing to make sure areas where community spread is high are identified, kids are safe in school, and free COVID-19 tests are available. Guidance for keeping children and staff safe in schools will be released soon.
SENATE PASSES NEARLY $4.4B IN K-12 SCHOOL FUNDING
As the Minority Vice-Chair of the Senate K-12 Appropriations Sub-Committee, I am proud to announce that last week, after months of negotiations, the Michigan Senate passed a $4.38 billion coronavirus relief funding bill for K-12 schools in Michigan. Our students cannot afford to wait any longer!
House Bill 4421, the approved legislation, appropriates the entirety of the American Rescue Plan stimulus and recovery money provided to Michigan’s School Aid Fund. Most of the money in the bill — $3.35 billion — is from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief III, with another $840.7 million in funds that have not yet been appropriated, but that are also included for distribution in school districts.
Other important funding priorities include:
Provisions were also made in the legislation that relate to summer school, as well as before- and after-school programs. Michigan students will now be allowed to enroll in summer programs offered in any district, not just their local district. School districts will also be able to use local assessments to make determinations of children with the greatest needs along with benchmark data for summer programming. The bill also removes the requirement that summer programs take place in-person.
GOVERNOR ANNOUNCES RECORD INVESTMENT IN CHILDCARE
On Monday, June 14, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a $1.4 billion investment in federal childcare funding to expand access to high-quality childcare, make it more affordable, and support childcare professionals as part of the administration’s Economic Jumpstart Investment.
Making childcare more affordable for families.
Supporting early childhood educators.
Stabilizing childcare businesses.
Expanding access to childcare.
Sign up to be the first to know what I'm doing to build a thriving community and fight for you.
First Name is required
Last Name is required
Email Address is required
Zip Code is required
We take your privacy seriously.