Bumstead supports measures to restore unemployment benefits and secure protections for nursing home facilities after court ruling

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jon Bumstead on Thursday voted in favor of measures that would extend unemployment benefits, assist workers and businesses and protect nursing home residents in the wake of the Michigan Supreme Court’s recent ruling limiting the governor’s authority during the ongoing pandemic.

“After the recent court ruling, my colleagues and I are using this as an opportunity to lead the state forward as we work to defeat the coronavirus,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “I am happy with the court’s decision and would like to see the executive and legislative branches working together on policies that will help Michigan businesses, families and seniors at a time when they need it most.”

Senate Bills 866 and 911 would protect emergency unemployment benefits for employers and employees alike. SB 866 would retain protections for workers who left work to self-isolate or quarantine and would continue the current work share program expansions. SB 911 would allow a retiree to remain eligible for their retirement allowances despite the fact they returned to work at UIA or MIOSHA to help with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The changes remain in effect until Dec. 31, 2020.

Also included in the package approved Thursday were SBs 1094 and 1108. SB 1094 would protect vulnerable populations by prohibiting COVID-19-affected individuals from being placed in nursing home facilities. The bill combines aspects from legislation Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed this summer and recommendations from the governor’s Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force comprised of industry professionals.

SB 1108 would provide local governments with a method to meet electronically if necessary to conduct business and engage the public.

“For months, we’ve urged the governor to work with the Legislature to protect our state and its people,” Bumstead said. “We remain willing to come together on these important measures to support and protect Michigan families during this pandemic.”

The bills now head to the House of Representatives for further consideration.