Whitmer Signs Executive Directive to Improve Equity

Whitmer Signs Executive Directive to Improve Equity

 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 9, 2020

Media Contact: press@michigan.gov

 

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Directive to Improve Equity Across Michigan’s Health Care System   

New rules will require health care professionals to undergo training to help reduce racial and other disparities in delivery of medical services

 

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Whitmer today signed Executive Directive 2020-7 which directs the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to begin developing rules that will require implicit bias training as part of the knowledge and skills necessary for licensure, registration and renewal of licenses and registrations of health professionals in Michigan. Implicit bias training was one of the recommendations made by the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, which Governor Whitmer created in response to the devastating and disproportionate impact the pandemic has had on communities of color.

 

“There’s no doubt that our front line health care workers like doctors and nurses have been the real heroes of this crisis, putting their lives on the line for us every day,” said Governor Whitmer. “COVID-19 has had a disparate impact on people of color due to a variety of factors, and we must do everything we can to address this disparity. The evidence shows that training in implicit bias can make a positive difference, so today we are taking action to help improve racial equity across Michigan’s health care system. That’s why my staff has begun this kind of training and every member of my team, including me, will complete this type of training on an annual basis.”

 

Since day one, both Governor Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II have been committed to making Michigan a more equitable state. During her State of the State Address this year, Governor Whitmer called for implicit bias training for all healthcare and medical professionals to combat racism felt across the healthcare industry.

 

“The existing health disparities highlighted during the coronavirus pandemic have made it clear that there is more work to do to ensure people of color have the same access to the same quality of health care as everyone else,” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist II, chair of the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities. “By providing awareness to health care workers on how to recognize and mitigate implicit bias, we can help them carry out their mission of providing the best health care to every patient they serve.”

 

As of July 5, Black Michiganders represented 14% of the state population, but 40% of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in which the race of the patient was known. COVID-19 is over four times more prevalent among Black Michiganders than among white Michiganders.

 

The National Healthcare Disparities Report concluded that white patients received care of a higher quality than Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and Asian Americans. People of color face more barriers to accessing health care than white people and are generally less satisfied with their interactions with health care providers.

 

“There is no question that our healthcare workers have risked their own lives and saved countless others during the COVID pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “But the fact is that implicit bias exists, and studies show that it can have an impact on health outcomes.  Every healthcare professional should be trained in implicit bias so that we can make sure everyone, regardless of their race or ethnicity, has access to the highest quality care.”

 

“This is an excellent step in the right direction, I applaud our Governor for addressing this issue and as Chair of the Board of Medicine, I stand ready to work with our board members and the Administration to establish implicit biased training for physicians,” said Micheal Chafty, MD, Chair of the Michigan Board of Medicine.

 

Under Executive Directive 2020-7, LARA is required to consult with relevant stakeholders in the medical profession, in state government and elsewhere in the community by November 1, 2020 to help determine relevant goals and concerns under the new rules. LARA will work in collaboration with the relevant professional boards and task forces to promulgate the rules.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9oBIvEeTV4

 

$300 Million in Grants Available to Help First Responders

$300 Million in Grants Available to Help First Responders

Contact: Danelle Gittus GittusD@michigan.gov

State Treasurer Rachael Eubanks today announced two new grant programs that will provide an overall total of $300 million to help first responders receive premium hazard pay and reimburse local governments for payroll costs incurred due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

“Our first responders and those public employees on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic are performing a critical public service for all Michiganders,” Eubanks said. “Supporting our first responders with funding is vital to keep Michigan safe. These dollars will also help our communities receive some budget relief.”

 

Effective immediately, eligible local units of government can apply for a grant from the First Responder Hazard Pay Premiums Program and the Public Safety and Public Health Payroll Reimbursement Program.

 

First Responder Hazard Pay Premiums Program

The First Responder Hazard Pay Premiums Program offers $100 million to fund additional compensation for first responders. Eligible first responders performed hazardous duty or work involving physical hardship related to COVID-19.

 

Cities, villages, townships, counties, public airport operators and certain ambulance operators can be reimbursed up to $1,000 per eligible employee, with no single applicant receiving more than $5 million. Applications from qualifying units of government will be funded on a first-come, first-served basis.

 

Public Safety and Public Health Payroll Reimbursement Program

The Public Safety and Public Health Payroll Reimbursement Program makes available $200 million to reimburse cities, villages, townships and counties for eligible public safety and public health payroll expenditures incurred from April 2020 to July 2020.

 

Cities, villages, townships, and counties can participate in the program if they have eligible public safety and public health payroll expenditures.

 

This program will potentially have two application rounds.

 

The first application round will be available for reimbursement of April and May 2020 eligible payroll expenditures. If funding is available after the first application round is completed, a second application round will be available for reimbursement of the June and July 2020 eligible payroll expenditures.

 

About the Grant Programs

On July 1, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Public Act 123 of 2020, which appropriated $100 million for the First Responder Hazard Pay Premiums Program and $200 million for the Public Safety and Public Health Payroll Reimbursement Program.

 

Both grant programs use federal funding available to the state of Michigan through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act.

 

Local Units of Government with questions about the grant programs can call the Treasury CARES Grant Programs Hotline at 517-335-0155 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

 

Applications for the programs and more information are available on the Treasury COVID-19 webpage under Local Government and School Services.

 

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

closing of I-75 this weekend in Oakland County

closing of I-75 this weekend in Oakland County

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                    THURSDAY, JULY 9, 2020

 

CONTACT: Rob Morosi, MDOT Office of Communications, MorosiR@Michigan.gov

 

Road and bridge construction require closing

I-75 this weekend in Oakland County

 

Fast facts:

– Bridge and road work require closing I-75 between M-102 (Eight Mile Road) and I-75 Business Loop (Square Lake Road) this weekend.

– During the closure, all traffic will be detoured to M-1 (Woodward Avenue).

– The freeway closure begins at 11 p.m. Friday, July 10, and ends by 5 a.m. Monday, July 13.

                                                                       

July 9, 2020 — Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) contract crews will be demolishing the Bernhard Avenue pedestrian bridge over I-75, and performing road work this weekend. This will require closing northbound and southbound I-75 between M-102 (Eight Mile Road) and the I-75 Business Loop (Square Lake Road) beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, July 10. Both directions of I-75 are expected to reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, July 13.

 

During this closure, northbound I-75 traffic will be detoured via westbound M-102 (Eight Mile Road), northbound M-1 (Woodward Avenue), and eastbound Square Lake Road back to northbound I-75. All northbound entrance ramps to I-75 from M-8 (Davison Freeway) to Adams Road will be closed beginning at 9 p.m. Friday and will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.

 

Southbound I-75 traffic will be detoured via westbound Square Lake Road, southbound M-1, and eastbound M-102 back to southbound I-75. All entrance ramps to southbound I-75 from M-59 to Nine Mile Road will be closed starting at 9 p.m. Friday and will reopen by 5 a.m. Monday.

 

I-75 ramps that are already closed due to the current construction configuration will remain closed after the freeway opens.

 

Follow I-75 modernization progress on the web at www.Modernize75.com, or follow on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Modernize75 or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Modernize75.

 

Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills Into Law

Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills Into Law

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

July 8, 2020

Contact: Press@michigan.gov

 

Gov. Whitmer Signs Bills Into Law

Governor Whitmer also vetoes certain bills.

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Whitmer signed House Bills 4546, 4547, 4389, 4390, and  4217, as well as Senate Bills 254, 248, 850, 696, 585, 517, and 173 into law. The governor signed House Bills 4389 and 4390, which regulate the use and reporting of firefighting foam containing per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS.

“Protecting our air, land and Great Lakes and ensuring Michiganders have access to clean, safe drinking water has been a top priority of my administration since day one,” Governor Whitmer said. “By signing these bills into law, we ensure any time a fire department uses firefighting foam that contains PFAS, the state is notified and the foam can be disposed of, so these forever chemicals don’t seep into our drinking water and needlessly harm Michiganders.”

House Bill 4389 requires the fire chief of an organized fire department that used firefighting foam containing PFAS to report the incident to the Michigan pollution emergency alert system within 48 hours following an incident. The legislation also makes permanent a program created in 2019 to collect firefighting foam containing PFAS. The bill was sponsored by Representative Sue Allor, R-Wolverine.

House Bill 4390 amends the Firefighters Training Council Act and prohibits the use of firefighting foam containing PFAS to be used by anyone trained under the Act. The bill also requires a minimum standard and training for certification as a fire service member using firefighting foam. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Jeff Yaroch, R-Richmond.

House Bill 4546 and 4547 expand a program that allows students in high school to dual-enroll in classes in a local community college or career or technical program, by making summer courses eligible for the program. HB 4546 was sponsored by Representative Bronna Kahle, R-Adrian, and HB 4547 was sponsored by Representative Ben Frederick, R-Owosso.

House Bill 4217 and Senate Bills 254 and 248 require prescribers to submit prescriptions electronically beginning October 1, 2021, reflecting an analogous federal mandate designed to minimize fraud. HB 4217 was sponsored by Representative Joseph Bellino, R-Monroe, SB 254 was sponsored by Senator Ruth Johnson, R-Holly, and SB 248 was sponsored by Senator Dale Zorn, R-Ida. The bills are tie-barred.

Senate Bill 850 creates the Industrial Hemp Growers Act which requires the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to develop and operate an industrial hemp program. The bill was sponsored by Senator Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway Township.

Senate Bill 696 amends Article 18 (Mortuary Science) of the Occupational Code. Under current law, managers of funeral homes may only manage one home at a time. These amendments would provide a procedure that managers can follow to get approval from the Board of Examiners in Mortuary Science to manage two homes. This bill was sponsored by Senator Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes.

Senate Bill 585 designates a portion of Highway US31 in Oceana County beginning at the W. Shelby Road exit 144 and continuing north to the Hart Polk Road exit 149 as the “PFC Brett Witteveen Memorial Highway” in honor of fallen soldier Private First Class Brett Witteveen. The bill was sponsored by Senator Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo.

Senate Bill 517 amends the Michigan Transportation Fund to require the Michigan Department of Transportation to engage an outside consulting firm to conduct a feasibility study on tolling highways. The bill was sponsored by Senator John Bizon, R-Battle Creek.

Senate Bill 173 prohibits a wrecker, recovery, or towing service from offering to a local unit of government a payment, fee, or commission to induce the local unit of government to enter into a contract with or secure business for the service. The bill also prohibits local governments from entering into the same contract. The bill was sponsored by Senator Jim Stamas, R-Midland.

The governor also vetoed Senate Bills 686935936 and 937 and House Bills 5761 and 5810. To view veto letters for these bills, click the links below:

AG Announces Creation of Criminal Investigations Division 

AG Announces Creation of Criminal Investigations Division 

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Media Contact:

Ryan Jarvi
(o) 517-335-7666 (c) 517-599-2746

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, July 8, 2020

AG Nessel Announces Creation of Criminal Investigations Division

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today announced the creation of the Criminal Investigations Division (CID), led by former Lansing Police Department Capt. Thomas Fabus.

The CID is the first of its kind for the Michigan Department of Attorney General and will allow the department to more effectively and uniformly complete thorough investigations covering a variety of subjects, while providing resources and strengthening partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

“As Michigan’s Attorney General and an elected public servant, I am committed to improving the operations of my department to better serve Michigan’s residents,” Nessel said. “This new division is a step forward in implementing best practices as they relate to criminal investigations and establishes an operational structure to provide the autonomy and oversight needed to ensure the completion of investigations that are thorough and done with integrity at all levels. Tom is the perfect person to lead this division. His experience speaks for itself and his reputation in the law enforcement community is one of commitment and integrity.”

Fabus began his position with the Attorney General’s office in April as chief of investigations. Prior to joining the Attorney General’s office, he worked for the Lansing Police Department for nearly 25 years, retiring in March from the rank of captain.

In his new role, he will oversee the Department of Attorney General’s special agents and investigative efforts in a wide range of topics, from clergy abuse and officer-involved shootings, to hate crimes, cold-case homicides, child support issues, consumer protection concerns and more.

“This new division will coordinate the law enforcement efforts of the Department of Attorney General, with emphasis on conducting complex case investigations,” Fabus said. “The strength of the Attorney General’s office is in its multidisciplinary professionals – from the investigators and attorneys to the victim advocates – and I’m proud to work alongside these other dedicated professionals in service to Michigan’s residents.”

While employed at the Lansing Police Department, Fabus worked in LPD’s Detective Bureau, Internal Affairs and Special Operations Section investigating a range of criminal activity from violent crime to narcotics and human trafficking. He also served as a tactical member of the Special Tactics and Rescue Team for over 17 years before retiring as the assistant team commander and one of the lead trainers for police tactics.

In 2010, Fabus was part of a team which founded the Capital Area Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) and has served as the task force commander. VCI has served as an example of coordination of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in violent crime response efforts. This model was presented to a national audience of law enforcement executives as best practices during the Department of Justice’s symposium on violent crime in 2018.

Fabus is a 2015 graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, a 10-week police executive leadership program located at the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia. In 2018, he attended the Police Executive Research Forum, Senior Management Institute for Police in Boston, Massachusetts, an intensive three-week program designed for forward-thinking senior police executives.

Tom obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University and graduated from the Mid-Michigan Police Academy before being hired by LPD in 1995.

COVID-19 Safety Video & Visual Art Contest

COVID-19 Safety Video & Visual Art Contest

‘Oakland Together’ COVID-19 Safety Video & Visual Art Contest Accepting Entries Today From County Residents

Pontiac, Michigan – Oakland County is looking for residents of nearly any age who have an artistic flair or video-making chops to create original art or a video to promote the continuing importance of practicing COVID-19 safety.

County Executive David Coulter today announced the ‘Oakland Together’ Safety Video & Visual Art Contest as a way to encourage residents ages 10 and up to offer creative ways of sending the message that practices such as wearing face masks or social distancing continue to be critical components of fighting the pandemic.

“I know first-hand how creative and imaginative the residents of our county can be,” Coulter said. “This isn’t a new message, but it remains an important one. Wearing a face mask does make a difference in stopping the spread of the virus; washing your hands makes a difference and so does social distancing. You’ve heard me say it many times. I’m certain there are a lot of creative minds out there who can deliver the message that COVID-19 is still with us and it will take all of us working as Oakland Together to beat this insidious virus.”

The contest has two ages divisions: 10-17 and 18 and above; and video or visual arts/2D categories for each. There is no limit to the number of times a person may enter but each entry must be done separately. Entry deadline is July 20 at 11:59 p.m.

The contest is open to original artwork submitted by the original creator, including but not limited to video, painting, drawing, photography, illustration and printmaking.

Artwork should promote and encourage COVID safety, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state of Michigan protocols.

A panel of judges will select the top three entries from each age group and category. Criteria include creativity, overall artistic impact in communicating safety during COVID-19 and the skill in mastering of the chosen medium.

Coulter will announce the finalists on July 28, whose creations will then be displayed online for a vote by the public to determine the order of finish. The winning entries will be considered for a virtual exhibit on OakGov.com, the county’s website and featured on Oakland County’s social media accounts and promoted in OaklandCountyProsper.com, the county’s biweekly electronic newsletter. They will also be considered for use in upcoming public service announcements. The artists will be given credit if their creations are used.

The contest is only open to residents of Oakland County. A complete list of rules and details on how to enter the contest are found at www.oakgov.com/covid/contests.