SKUBICK ANALYSIS: State leaders pass COVID-19 legislation, including unemployment extension

Michigan

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders worked into the early morning hours to hammer out a wide range of bills related to COVID-19.

They reached a deal that includes a 26-week extension for unemployment benefits, affecting about 380,000 Michigan residents.

Republican lawmakers also got their wish of liability protection for Michigan businesses, defending them against so-called “frivolous” COVID-19 lawsuits.

Small Business Lobbyist Amanda Fisher says trial lawyers may have tried to capitalize on the pandemic by talking employees or consumers into suing businesses.

State lawmakers also passed a bill giving local governments the ability to hold their meetings virtually.

This has been the standard for months, but a recent decision by the Michigan Supreme Court removed that ability.

Recently, some local governments have canceled their meetings to avoid violating the law, and the Jackson City Council held an outdoor meeting last night so it would have enough room for social distancing.

The deal struck last night also includes an extension on driver’s licenses.

People whose licenses have expired now have until the end of the year to renew them without incurring penalties.

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