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MichiganVotes.org is a free, non-partisan website created by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy to provide concise, non-partisan, plain-English descriptions of every bill and vote in the Michigan House and Senate. This report was released Friday, Oct. 9.

Senate Bill 886: Authorize expanded unemployment benefits during epidemic

To suspend through the end of 2020 various limits, restrictions and requirements related to collecting state unemployment insurance benefits for layoffs related to the epidemic. Among other things, benefits would be payable for up to 26 weeks instead of 20 weeks; benefit payments would not be assessed against an employer’s unemployment insurance account; workers would not have to seek another job while collecting benefits; “work-sharing” plans would be allowed; eligibility restrictions would be eased and more. The bill also clarifies that individuals who are independent contractors were eligible for benefits as of March 15, 2020. The bill is “tie-barred” to other bills extending epidemic-related liability protections to employers and other institutions, meaning it cannot become law unless they also become law.

Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate

Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Dist. 14) YES

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-Dist. 15) YES

Sen. Lana Theis (R-Dist. 22) YES

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Dist. 27) YES

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Dist. 32) YES

Senate Bill 1094: Restrict coronavirus admissions to nursing homes

To prohibit admitting an individual who has tested positive for coronavirus to a nursing home unless it can provide a designated area for coronavirus patients, with staff retraining to provide the appropriate level of care necessary, and with various exceptions. The bill would also order an evaluation of the COVID-19 “hospital overflow” facilities the state contracted for early in the epidemic, which were hardly used.

Passed 38 to 0 in the Senate

Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Dist. 14) YES

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-Dist. 15) YES

Sen. Lana Theis (R-Dist. 22) YES

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Dist. 27) YES

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Dist. 32) YES

Senate Bill 1108: Authorize rules for electronic public meetings

To permit and establish rules for a public body to hold meetings electronically, with members and votes considered to have met the usual requirements, and a requirement that members of the public be allowed to participate by phone or electronically. The bill would also require public bodies to accommodate the participation of a member who is absent due to a medical condition or a statewide or locally declared state of emergency. Passed 36 to 2 in the Senate

Sen. Ruth Johnson (R-Dist. 14) YES

Sen. Jim Runestad (R-Dist. 15) YES

Sen. Lana Theis (R-Dist. 22) YES

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Dist. 27) YES

Sen. Ken Horn (R-Dist. 32) YES

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