Governor Urges In-Person Learning by March 1

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today urged K-12 school districts to offer in-person learning options for students by 3/1/21. At present, the state is not mandating face-to-face instruction but rather establishing a statewide goal of getting students back in the classroom as soon as possible. All in-person learning would be subject to virus mitigation procedures and the Governor noted that teachers will be eligible for COVID-19 vaccination beginning Monday (see related story below).

Many districts across the state have offered only online classes since March 2020. Consequently, virtual schooling has been a significant impediment to the manufacturing-driven economic recovery. MMA is encouraged by the Governor’s efforts to get kids back in classrooms which will help their parents get back to work.

Vaccine Distribution Plan Moving Forward

This week, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (MDHHS) announced that the state will move to a new phase in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan to help reach the goal of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders over age 16.

Beginning on Monday, 1/11/21, eligibility will open for individuals who are 65 years of age or older and frontline essential workers such as police officers, first responders, frontline state and federal workers, jail and prison staff, teachers and child care providers. Health care workers eligible in the initial phase of distribution will continue to receive vaccines simultaneously. Additionally, MDHHS is accelerating vaccinations for individuals aged 65–74 (Phase 1C, Group A) due to the concern around a disparity in life expectancy in this group related to COVID–19.

The changes made to the vaccine distribution system are anticipated to speed up distribution. In addition to expanding eligibility, the new guidelines established by MDHHS provide more flexibility to hospital systems in the immunization process.

MMA’s David Worthams is available at 517-487-8511 or to respond to member questions about vaccine distribution and additional information is available on the state of Michigan vaccination website.

New & Notable

COVID Legislative Victories

In the final hours of the 2019-2020 Legislative Session, MMA secured a number of legislative victories to support manufacturers as the COVID-19 pandemic wages on:

  • MMA’s solution to avoid the administrative nightmare of tracking for Personal Property Tax (PPT) purposes items such as laptops, monitors and printers with many employees working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic was signed into law. Public Act 352 of 2020 (Senator Jim Runestad, R-White Lake) provides that all personal property is assumed to be in its original location as it was on tax day, 12/31/19.
  • Public Act 339 of 2020 sets standards for Michigan employers and employees to follow with regard to COVID-19 quarantine requirements. The legislation aligns Michigan law with the most recent CDC guidance.

Webinar: Employee Health and
Mental Wellness During COVID

Host: Sigred Solutions
(MMA Premium Associate Member)
Wednesday, January 31, 2021 at 8:30 a.m.
Register online.

Extraordinarily stressful times have made the health and mental wellness of your employees a top priority. Participate in a highly interactive discussion with notable HR and legal leaders, facilitated by MMA Premium Associate Member Sigred Solutions, on Wednesday, 1/13/21, to help improve your organization’s performance.

Webinar: PPP Round 2 —
What You Need to Know

Host: Butzel Long
(MMA Premium Associate Member)
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.
Register online.

A new round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding was signed into law in late 2020. Join MMA and the experienced and trusted team at Butzel Long to learn the key provisions of the new law and explore the interplay with prior law and regulations related to PPP loans.

Background: On 12/27/20, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which included several provisions related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) first established under the CARES Act and the amendatory Flexibility Act. Among the numerous provisions of this comprehensive bill was creation of the “COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020,” which made several changes to the PPP structure and the “Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act,” which established a much-needed second round of PPP funding. 

About the Speakers:

  • Justin G. Klimko is the President of Butzel Long with extensive experience in securities regulation, corporate financing, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general corporate matters, fields in which he has practiced since 1980.
  • Bernard J. Fuhs Vice President of Butzel Long, is a nationally recognized expert on non-compete and trade secret matters, having litigated and/or counseled clients on such matters in all 50 states. 
  • Brett J. Miller is the Chair of Butzel Long’s Employment Practices Liability Insurance Sub-Practice, focusing his time on employment and labor law as well as fair housing litigation. 
  • Thomas A. Kabel is a shareholder based in Butzel Long’s Bloomfield Hills office, practicing in the area of commercial real estate and real estate-related finance.

Resources for Manufacturers

Stay updated and compliant with the many changes imposed over the last few weeks. Find state, federal and member resources on MMA’s COVID-19 Resources.

Please continue to reach out to the MMA team with questions.