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Updates on Executive Orders Affecting Libraries

July 30, 2020

On Wednesday, July 29, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-160 and Executive Order 2020-161, amending Michigan’s Safe Start Order and issuing revised workplace safeguards.

The Governor stated that with rising cases throughout Michigan, these updates were necessary to protect lives and slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Under the Safe Start Order, starting July 31, 2020, statewide indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people, outdoor gatherings are not to exceed 100 people, and bars will be closed for indoor service across the state, including in Regions 6 and 8. Regions 6 and 8 also have different limits on gatherings.

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Executive Orders: What Number Are We up To?

July 23, 2020

Wondering if anyone else out there in library land is finding it hard to remember what Executive Orders we are now paying attention to? We started this conversation back on March 16th with EO 2020-09 and from then until now, there have been over 150 and we are still climbing the ladder. Since that time, MLA has continued to stay on top of the Executive Orders that affect our work, and while it is good to note that many Executive Orders have been rescinded over the past 4 months, we continue to confuse ourselves every day by what number is or isn’t still in effect. 

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Gov. Whitmer Extends Orders Allowing Remote Meetings and Hearings With New Executive Order

July 17, 2020

Governor Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-154, which extends previous executive orders to provide temporary alternative means to conduct public meetings, conduct administrative proceedings, and provide the required notice under tax abatement statutes.

Under Executive Order 2020-154, all three previous orders are consolidated and extended to protect the public health and safety of Michiganders. The new order:

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Governor Whitmer Extends State of Emergency Through July 16, Allows Remote Meetings Through July 31

June 18, 2020

On June 18, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-127, which extends the state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic until July 16. In doing so, Governor Whitmer joins nearly every state in the country in maintaining a state of emergency to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. This executive order will allow her to continue taking action to protect Michigan families and workers.

She also signed Executive Order 2020-129 which extends a previous Executive Order allowing public bodies to conduct public meetings remotely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Under EO 2020-129, public bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act, including boards, commissions, committees, subcommittees, authorities, councils and nonprofit boards, can use telephone or video-conferencing methods to continue meeting and conducting business during the COVID-19 public health crisis, so long as they follow certain procedures to ensure meaningful access and participation by members of the public body and the general public. The order also temporarily authorizes public bodies, departments and agencies to use technology to enable remote participation in public comment and hearings, and temporarily excuses school boards from monthly meeting requirements. EO 2020-129 expires on July 31, 2020.

Public bodies must meet the following criteria when holding a public meeting remotely:   

  • Ensure two-way communication for members and the public to hear and address each other when speaking.   
  • Provide adequate notice to the public of the meeting.   
  • Post a public meeting notice on their website.   
  • Permit participants to record or broadcast the public meeting.    
  • Allow participants to address the public body during a public comment period. 

Executive Order 2020-127

Executive Order 2020-129

 
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Reminder: Reopening is a Dimmer Switch

June 6, 2020

MLA wants to remind all libraries in Michigan that we are behind you as you gradually bring your services and your facilities back up to speed. We encourage you to over-communicate your reopening plans through your website, your social media sites, through your local radio stations and newspapers, and other communication vehicles that will inform your patrons and others that it will take time once you are back in your buildings to prepare your sites, first to offer limited services (like curbside), and doing everything you can to mitigate the further spread of the coronavirus before you open your doors.

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Governor Whitmer Releases Updated Workplace Standards for Retail Including Libraries, Reopens More Regions Under MI Safe Start Plan

June 5, 2020

On June 5, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-114 and 2020-115 to reopen more regions and economic sectors under the MI Safe Start Plan.

Starting on June 10, Regions 6 and 8 — which include much of northern Michigan and all of the Upper Peninsula — will advance to Phase 5 of the Governor’s MI Safe Start Plan. Phase 5 allows the reopening of salons, movie theaters, and gyms, subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

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Update on COVID-19 Impacts on State of Michigan Budget

May 28, 2020

Staggering revenue declines for the State of Michigan were announced at the May 15 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference (CREC). Officials agreed that for the current fiscal year, the state’s General Fund will see a $1.98 billion decrease in revenue, while the School Aid Fund will see a $1.25 billion hit.

Furthermore, current estimates show a total decrease of $6.3 billion for both funds combined in the current and upcoming fiscal years. State Budget Director Chris Kolb noted that given the unprecedented health crisis the state of Michigan is facing right now, flexibility and additional funding from the federal government are crucial to ensure Michigan and states across the country can continue working on behalf of the people.

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Please Continue to Reach Out to Legislators

May 27, 2020

MLA continues to reach out to all of our Senators and House members to remind them of the importance of libraries throughout Michigan. Last month we contacted every State Representative and Senator to remind them that while libraries' doors are closed, libraries continue to offer many valuable digital services online. We shared that even though library buildings are closed to the public, many have taken this opportunity to expand access to digital resources and online services, launch virtual programs, and coordinate services with local government agencies. We reminded them that library patrons can access eBooks, audiobooks, online learning and tutoring help. We shared that libraries are engaging readers of all ages by streaming book discussions, author visits and storytimes, offering access to skill-building activities and resume development for those who have been recently unemployed, as well as offering telehealth resources and trustworthy public health information.

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Call to Action: Urge Governor Whitmer to Allow Libraries to Begin Curbside Services

Updated -- May 20, 2020

MLA is here to help our libraries be totally prepared for the eventual phased-in reopening of their facilities and their services. Libraries across Michigan are now preparing individualized phased-in reopening plans and library administrators are being very careful and thoughtful to take into consideration staff and patron protections from the continued spread and/or a resurgence of the coronavirus. Many libraries are ready to begin implementing curbside services. We are now asking the Governor to allow libraries to offer curbside and no-contact pickup services.

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Libraries to Be Included on Governor's Reopening Advisory Workgroups

May 13, 2020

Last week, MLA heard that Governor Whitmer would be forming workgroups to help determine reopening plans for different industries, and MLA immediately asked to be at the table.

We received communications yesterday that Governor Whitmer formally announced the creation of these advisory workgroups (led by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity). The workgroups will provide input on Michigan’s process to safely re-engage the economy. Workgroups will focus on mitigation of transmission risk in the workplace, including but not limited to best practices for workplace safety, PPE requirements, and retraining workers on newly implemented COVID-19 work requirements.

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MI Safe Start Plan

May 7, 2020

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer detailed the six phases of her MI Safe Start Plan to re-engage Michigan’s economy. The Governor has worked with leaders in health care, business, labor, and education to develop the plan, and announced today that Michigan is in phase three.

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