Gov. Whitmer talks American Rescue Plan benefits for Michigan
Gretchen Whitmer joined elected officials from Wisconsin and Florida Thursday to discuss the benefits of the newly passed American Rescue Plan during a virtual news conference. Live Stream @ 1:30 p.m.: President Biden signs $1.9T COVID-19 relief billWhitmer, joined Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and St. Petersburg Florida Mayor Rick Kriseman, discussed the federal government’s approved $1.9 trillion virus aid package and its benefits for American families. The House gave final congressional approval Wednesday to the sweeping package by a near party line 220-211 vote precisely seven weeks after Biden entered the White House and four days after the Senate passed the bill. The conference is taking place as Michigan, and much of the country, marks its one-year COVID anniversary. Biden will sign the bill into law on Friday, but the White House didn’t wait, turning the bill signing into a three-day event.
Fairness of COVID vaccine distribution up for debate in Michigan Legislature
LANSING, Mich. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has prioritized frontline health care workers and those 65 years of age and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccine first. Gretchen Whitmer’s added use of social vulnerability as part of her vaccine distribution calculations has led to concerns about fairness among some -- especially among lawmakers, since thousands of Michiganders struggling to schedule vaccination appointments are calling legislators daily. But state Sen. Sylvia Santana (D-Detroit) says it is a life and death issue, and social vulnerability is included in the eligibility criteria for a good reason. “Blacks are 1.9 times more likely to die, Hispanic Americans are 2.3 times more likely to die and Native Americans are 2.4 times more likely to die,” Santana said on the Senate Floor Thursday. Duggan also sparred with Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel over vaccine dose distribution.
Milwaukee scraps early voting plans at Fiserv, Miller Park
The commission developed the plan in an effort to provide safe voting sites during the coronavirus pandemic. The Wisconsin Elections Commission said in a memo Monday that all early voting sites were to have been designated by June 12; the plan for Fiserv and Miller Park was implemented Sept. 1. In Atlanta, the Hawks' stadium was used in an August primary and was set to open next week for early voting. Woodall-Vogg noted that the city is still offering 13 in-person early voting locations spread out across the city. ___AP’s Advance Voting guide brings you the facts about voting early, by mail or absentee from each state: https://interactives.ap.org/advance-voting-2020/
Ballot drop boxes seen as a way to bypass the post office
Washington state election officials said that there are 450 drop boxes statewide, and there are discussions about adding more. Typical security measures for drop boxes include video surveillance, locks, tamper-resistant seals and chain-of-custody logs that are completed each time ballots are collected. In Pennsylvania, a federal lawsuit by the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee has cast drop boxes into a legal gray area. Democratic state lawmakers are countersuing to get a judge to clarify that drop boxes are legal. Suburban Delaware County is plowing ahead with its plans for drop boxes without waiting for the outcome of the legal dispute, said County Council member Christine Reuther, a Democrat.
Michigan Sen. Tom Barrett tests positive for COVID-19
LANSING, Mich. State Sen. Tom Barrett announced Sunday evening he tested positive for coronavirus. The Michigan Army National Guard implemented a COVID-19 screening policy for all soldiers one week prior to their departure for training events, Barrett said. Barrett was the sponsor behind Senate Bill 0858 which aimed to limit the powers Gov. We were informed today that a member of the Senate tested positive for COVID-19. More information on coronavirus (COVID-19):
‘Failed attempt at humor,’ Michigan Gov. Whitmer says of husband’s attempt to move up boat queue
Gretchen Whitmer’s husband made typifies the ever souring relationship between her office and the Republican leadership in the legislature. Whitmer called it a poor attempt at humor -- and a top Republican said her staff lied. He jokingly asked if being married to me might move him up in the queue.”Sen. Tom Barrett put up a post detailing what he said Whitmer’s husband said last Friday. He said late that night he was called on by Whitmer’s staff to remove it because it wasn’t true. The boat drama continued to explode on social media over the weekend and Whitmer’s staff tried to brush it off.