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Over the past few months, our state has made significant progress to lower the unemployment rate towards pre-COVID numbers. However, to continue the support of those who have been impacted, FEMA has recently approved Michigan residents for an extra $300 in weekly unemployment benefits, on top of what the state of Michigan provides. No action is required by claimants to receive the additional payment. The UIA estimates that approximately 910,000 Michganders will benefit from the federal assistance approved by congress on July 31. Currently, both those on UIA and PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) may be eligible.
Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference
This week state budget experts came together to hold a rare Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference to reassess where the state is at financially. We saw some good news as experts presented large improvements in budget projections since the original forecast. In May, projections saw Michigan expecting to fall $3.2 billion short in this year’s budget, but that number has been recalculated to be $936 million. This is attributed in part due to federal assistance with the UIA/ PUA, the federal CARES Act relief package, and the decisive action taken by Governor Whitmer.
Despite this uptick, $926 million is still an incredibly significant hit to this year’s budget and is anticipated to impact the 2021 Fiscal Year with a loss of about $2.47 billion. With the legislature needing to pass a budget by October 1st, and it still being unclear as to whether or not Michigan will receive more federal funding to mitigate the impacts on COVID-19, we have a lot of work to do to ensure that we find ways to recover from this while maintaining the essential services that Michigan residents rely on.
We will keep you posted as budget conversations continue.
Voting Information and USPS
Last week, Michigan joined several other states in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in response to concerns over the Trump Administration’s threats to cuts in funding to the USPS and subsequent impacts to service. As reports of blue curbside mailboxes and sorting machine removal have become public, there are also ongoing investigations and hearings in the United States House and Senate to understand what happened to result in the slowdown and what can be done to ensure service is returned to normal.
Michigan’s Attorney General, Secretary of State, and Governor have all made it clear that they will be doing everything in their power to ensure Michigan’s elections will remain fair, safe and accessible to all. But as November is fast approaching, we share your concern and our office is actively communicating with our local clerks to ensure we are advocating for the resources they need to administer the election, along with connecting with our federal officials to ensure that the USPS will be able to continue its reliable service to the people of Michigan.
With that being said, ensuring that residents are fully informed about the election is more important than ever. For the most up to date voting information, please visit: michigan.gov/vote.
Additionally, our team has put together a voter education guide. If you are interested in reading through it or printing a copy for yourself, a PDF file and digital version of the guide is available here:
*Additionally, the deadline for the census has changed. Some of our election guides were mailed out prior to receiving the updated date for submitting a self-response census form. The deadline for turning in your census has been moved to September 30th, 2020.
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