McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

October 17th-28th, 2022

Upcoming events

Tuesday, November 8th, 2022

General Election

Wednesday, November 9th, 2022

Tentative House and Senate Session

Thursday, November 10th, 2022

Tentative House and Senate Session

General Election Less Than Two Weeks Away

Michigan’s November 8 General Election is quickly approaching, and the Secretary of State is urging the approximately one million voters that requested absentee ballots, but have not yet voted, to hand-deliver their ballots to the clerk’s office or ballot box to avoid postal delays. Ballots must be received by the clerk no later than 8 p.m. on Election Day. Clerk’s offices and ballot box locations can be found here.

Residents not yet registered to vote can do so in person at a clerk’s office, since online and mail registration has closed. Michiganders also have the ability to register to vote at the time of voting on November 8.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Election Day, and voters who are in line by 8 p.m. but have not yet cast their ballot are encouraged to wait. If you are interested in working on election day as a poll worker, voters are encouraged to apply here.

FDA Authorizes Bivalent Booster for Children

On October 12, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) amended the emergency use authorizations of the two bivalent COVID-19 vaccines authorizing their use in younger age groups. Children as young as five years are now eligible to receive the bivalent boosters two months following completion of any FDA-approved or authorized monovalent primary series or monovalent booster vaccination.

The primary series vaccine or initial booster dose previously administered does not impact the effectiveness of either bivalent booster. Additionally, the FDA has authorized the mix-and-match of COVID-19 boosters with the primary series vaccine.

In related news, on October 13, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued another 90-day public health emergency declaration. This will be the eleventh time since the first declaration in January 2020. The current extension ends on January 11, 2023. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the number of new COVID-19 cases daily is more than 38,000, with 328 deaths daily.

MDHHS Updates Blood Lead Reference Value Data

On October 20, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced a change in blood lead data available for Michigan children. In May 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their blood lead reference value (BLRV) from 5 ug/dL to 3.5 ug/dL. In response, MDHHS changed its definition to match the CDC.

In 2021, more than 3,400 Michigan children had an elevated blood level of 3.5 ug/dL or higher. More than half of those children had a blood level of 5 ug/dL or higher. Detection at a lower reference level will help identify more children who need public health services and further medical evaluation. It is also helpful for identifying communities that need prioritized interventions to reduce lead exposure.

Elevated blood lead level tracking is available online through Michigan Environmental Public Health Tracking (MiTracking) for those with a blood lead of 3.5 ug/dL or higher. Data is available at the state, county, and local health department, and zip code levels.

Jury Convicts Whitmer Kidnap Plotters

A Jackson County jury convicted three members of the Wolverine Watchmen on terrorism charges for plotting to attack Michigan’s Capitol building, hold government officials for ransom, and kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Joseph Morrison, Paul Bellar, and Pete Musico were originally charged under Michigan’s Anti-Terrorism Act of 2002 and were later found guilty of providing support for terrorist acts, as well as gang membership and felony firearms on October 26.

The three men will be sentenced on December 15.

MI Unemployment Remains Stable Compared to National Rates

Data released on October 19 by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) indicates that unemployment rates in Michigan remained stable in the month of September at 4.1 percent while the federal unemployment rate fell to 3.5 percent. Since September 2021, the national unemployment rate has fallen by 1.2 percentage points, and the statewide rate has fallen by 1.6 percentage points.

Following this state-wide trend of reduced unemployment rates, the Detroit metropolitan area unemployment rate fell by 2.2 percentage points over the year. From September 2021-2022, unemployment fell by 49,000, and employment increased by 40,000.

Industry employment trends show that Michigan’s construction sector had the most significant numerical over-the-month increase in employment in September, with 3,000 additional jobs since August. However, the state’s leisure and hospitality sector saw a minor reduction in jobs over the month. The state’s professional and business services sector has the most noticeable over-the-year industry employment, with more than 30,000 people entering the workforce

Fiscal Agencies Issue September Revenue Reports

The House and Senate Fiscal Agency issued their September revenue reports, once again showing higher revenues when compared to 2021 collections.

The Senate Fiscal Agency reported that revenues from taxes with the General Fund and School Aid Fund earmarks totaled $3.8 billion, which is a 13.4 percent increase from September 2021. Tax collections for the month were reported at $476.4 million above estimated levels from the May 2022 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference.

The House Fiscal Agency reported cash collections from major taxes, penalties, interest, and lottery transfers totaled approximately $3.8 billion for September 2022, $464.9 million more than July 2021. For fiscal-year-to-date, collections were reported 15.9 percent higher in FY 2021-22 compared to FY 2020-21.