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Showing posts from April, 2020

Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches Engage over Michigan Executive Orders

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Governor Whitmer sought to extend the Stay Home Stay Safe Order and legislative members of the House of Representatives said "Not so fast!". Senate bills passed limiting her emergency powers and in turn the Governor promised a veto. Legislature went on to pass bills codifying (arranging into codes) existing executive orders and then empowered the speaker to go after the Governor legally. Such a change means there were a number of members coordinating in the background to make this happen. An interesting turn of affairs in a future presidential race state. The "show down" was getting louder over the past couple of days and you could see tensions rising. The essential issues revolve around who gets to make the decisions. All three branches (Executive, Judicial, and Legislative) are likely to be involved at some point. This is where things get more interesting because our constitutional system is designed to check and balance each other in this way. Therefore, ther

Fincantieri Marinette Marine Wins Guided-Missile Frigate Contract $5.5 Billion

Press release Congressman Bergman April 30th, 2020...... Today, the U.S. Navy announced Fincantieri Marinette Marine was awarded the contract for detail design and construction of the FFG(X) guided-missile frigate. While physically located in Marinette, Wisconsin, thousands of U.P. workers are employed at Marinette Marine. If all options are exercised, the cumulative value of this contract would be $5,576,105,441. Rep. Jack Bergman, Member of the House Armed Services Committee, and Retired USMC Lt. General issued the following statement: " With this contract award, Fincantieri Marinette Marine will continue its longstanding tradition of supporting the U.S. Navy, building high- quality ships, and creating jobs in the region. This contract will have lasting impacts on Michigan’s First District and the U.S. Navy as it prepares for the future fight . " As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I’m proud to have worked alongside Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-08

Office of Attorney General Releases Memo on COVID and Civil Liberties

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A Department of Justice memo was issued on April 27th, 2020 by the Office of the Attorney General related to monitoring state and local directives that could be violating the constitutional rights and civil liberties of individual citizens. Times of crisis require us to make actions that are outside the scope of normal. There is some judgement on how far of a reach these decisions should extend and when or when they are not appropriate. Because we are an interconnected society there will inevitably come times during a crisis when individual liberties could be impacted. It appears this memo seeks to "keep an eye out" for instances where that may occur and take action to correct the situation when necessary. Two main points are below:  " Constitution also forbids, in certain circumstances, discrimination against disfavored speech and undue interference with the national economy. If a state or local ordinance crosses the line from an appropriate exercise of authority to

GDP Contracts 1st Q of 2020-Is It a Short Lived Shock and Digital GDP Recovery?

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The humming economic engines of the U.S. economy went into an abrupt screeching halt as our business and personal lives were derailed by a phantom disease. COVID-19 caused worldwide supply chain and employment disruptions that will shift our fundamental economic assumptions about how business is conducted for a long time to come. Contractions in the first, and perhaps the second (or third) quarter were expected as our economy shifts and adjusts to the voracious appetite of an economic cookie monster. The question becomes what happens after we put the "beast" back in the can? We are either in a recession or we are part of a short-lived shock. The answer may lay in our ability to adapt to a new digital platform that includes short term economic boosts and long term economic mastery. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis states..... " The decline in first quarter GDP was, in part, due to the response to the spread of COVID-19, as governments issued "stay-at-home&quo

April 29th 2020 Governor Whitmer Discusses Yoopers and Further Opening of Economy

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Much of the discussion on Governor Whitmer's April 30th, 2020 briefing revolved around new programs that help and create incentives for Frontline workers. That includes initiatives that relate to childcare, unemployment and college tuition. Furthermore,a new executive order will likely be issued Friday as it pertains to opening commercial and residential construction. A Heroes Fund was introduced to encourage additional hazard pay for first responders and frontline workers. She provided an example of a Gladstone resident (i.e. Yooper) that renewed her nursing license so she could go back to work in Marquette at a nursing home. Linda (Yooper) was held out as an example others should follow. Interestingly, there was a 15K proposal (As part of the Heroes Fund) to create incentives to recruit healthcare and first responders. There appears to be a problem with recruiting nurses and first responders as the supply of 1,600 Canadian nurses dried up with travel restrictions at the borde

Business Roundtable and Economic Opening Plans-President Briefing April 29th, 2020

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The President's April 29th, 2020 Briefing was excellent today in a way that discusses how the leading "thinkers" of today's American economy are coordinating to create a stronger and new economy. What is most inspiring is that there is an opportunity to get all of these businesses (Business Roundtable) sailing in the same direction. The Business Roundtable members discussed how they are going to reopen the economy. What is the Business Roundtable ? According to their website, " Business Roundtable members are the chief executive officers of leading U.S. companies. Collectively, they represent every sector of the economy and bring a unique and important perspective to bear on policy issues that impact the economy. Roundtable members are thought leaders, advocating for policy solutions that foster U.S. economic growth and competitiveness ." They are a serious group of economic players that have significant influence on how our economy will function and g

Video Briefing on How PPP Helped Small Businesses-Hosted by White House and President Trump

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The program is designed for small business and any loan over $2 million will have a full review to ensure that it is not going to large companies. There was some discussion on follow up programs that were not based in large distributions. Likely more focused on payroll tax and other undefined methods. Testing questions continue to come up and the answer revolves around improving testing capacity. You will want to watch the video for details......  

Gladstone Michigan April 27th, 2020 City Commission Meeting

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You may be interesting in listening to the Gladstone City Commission Meeting. Lots of information on budgets. In this town a little investment can make a huge difference in the community, residents and business environment.... Agenda Meeting April 27th 2020. Budget information included. LINK

Adjustment in SBA PPP Allows for Loans that Help Upper Peninsula's Seasonal Businesses

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The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is a rural and rustic place that attracts snowmobilers, hikers, and general outdoor enthusiasts. According to Michigan Works sponsored report in 2017 the Upper Peninsula's third largest work demographic was Leisure and Hospitality. Its a tourist type place with vacation destinations like Mackinac Island, Escanaba and Munising (...and more). That also means many of the seasonal businesses were left out of the original PPP program because they were not Open a 12-week period beginning in February and/or March through June 2019. The new loan criteria designed to help seasonal businesses allows businesses to select a 12 week period between May 2019, and mid-September 2019. That means such businesses can now use a payroll that would be active during a time when they are open so they can get the maximum amount. When the snow melts they open and unfortunately prior to this change they were left out so the adjustments are a positive one not only for th

Governor Whitmer April 27 2020- Michigan Economic Recovery Council Takes Center Stage

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The Michigan Economic Recover Council was introduced tonight to the general public. It is a group of business leaders, medical professionals, academics and others that are working to find a safe way to open the economy. They have a fairly complex system but for the most part it seems to make sense. It is likely going to be "scalable" with some modifications. It appears to fit within the general Federal guidelines. The Governor indicated that outdoor, industry and construction may end up opening up soon. More information will be coming out over the next few days. General Notes: -Licensing for food service temporarily suspended. -Grocery stores and pharmacy allocate 2 hours week vulnerable employees. -Grocery stores and pharmacy employees must wear mask. -New Executive Order 2020-63 Extension of PPO (See Below) -PPP loans are still open to Michigan residents. -Adults in Michigan can get health coverage from the  Healthy Michigan Plan -Companies donated masks and othe

President Donald Trump April 27th, 2020- Private/Public Collaboration for Testing Adaptation

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What we learn from today's meeting is that many American businesses are stepping up their capacity in public-private partnerships to solve this COVID-19 problem by rapidly expanding testing capacity. That is the importance of the American Spirit that leads to adaptation and mastery of novel threats. When this crisis is over, we may be able to hedge that spirit to build a new nation unsurpassed by any in the world's history. Perhaps, a new economic platform that other nations may take decades to copy. With effort we can regenerate and rejuvenate our national mission and message. That requires people to clean their foggy glasses to take a renewed view of the American Legacy and our responsibility to pull ourselves up and over old world paradigms. To see the world and our responsibilities in it in a new way! We are no longer learning to walk but are starting to run! Each new skill leads to an opening of doors to more sophisticated mastery. As a nation, when we begin to walk do

Michigan Governor Whitmer Executive Order Focuses on Food Service and Pharmacies-Executive Order 2020-42

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The State of Michigan is slowly opening and we are likely to see a number of executive orders rising to define aspects of that opening. The latest executive order (Executive Order 2020-42) seems to focus more on protecting food service and pharmacy workers. It also requires extra time (vulnerable populations) to shop.  It instills special workplace requirements to protect oneself and employees. There is also workplace screening criteria included in the order. Food service licensing will be delayed for some time due to limited health department resources. I'm not sure where this executive order is leaning but seems to be oriented more around definitions of closing some "risk" spots. I wonder if there will be an opening of some additional food service establishments in the near future? Not sure..... From State of Michigan Press Release  https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90640-527058--,00.html Require checkout employees to wear some form of covering

Delta County Michigan Residents Should Avoid Mortgage Default with 90-Day Mortgage Forbearance

The COVID-19 Crisis caught a lot of people off guard. Americans have not done well saving up money and paying down credit cards. Sometimes when tough times happen the entire system starts to move out of whack and people begin to default on their payments. This can have implications throughout the entire economic chain. Therefore, by putting in place a system that temporarily stops default actions can help shorten the default shock for homeowners and institutions.  If you have a home and are at risk of defaulting on payment you will want to pay close attention.  What is the Purpose: The purpose is to stop the chain of default. When people are not working, using unemployment and not making much money they are not able to scrape together mortgage payments. This shortfall often leads to defaults which in turn causes cash runs and crashes. The defaults are artificially based in the crisis so ensuring people are working and/or temporarily don't have payments will help. A temporary h

How Your Label Can Leave an Impression?

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A bad label is a bad first impression! Shipping labels are one of the most common business tools for anyone selling products online. There are free shipping labels you can quickly grab and use at your local post office. However, they seem unprofessional and don't give your customers the impression that you are serious about your business. Your label leaves a lasting impression so make sure it looks great! For a positive first impression purchase (or make) professional labels. Browse online and it won't take long to find an array of different label vendors. I suspect they are all fairly similar. The Label Gives an Impression: The label gives the impression that you have a professional business that is selling valuable products. You are not a fly-by-night start-up that will go out of business tomorrow. You pay attention to the details and want to give your customer a top notch experience. It Speeds Up the Shipping Process: With pre-printed shipping labels you speed up

150 Businesses Sign Letter Requesting a Safe Reopening of the State

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I'm a little late seeing this but it appears to be a letter intended to encourage re-opening of parts of the economy. This was sent a few days before the last executive order.

Michigan's Joint Select Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic (Res.No.20)-Learning Organization?

While Michigan's COVID-19 crisis isn't quite over but seems to be moving toward the end of a rampage and with hope it will dissipate into a moment in history. Resolution No.20 creates a committee to review what the state has done thus far and provide information and advise the legislative body of potential improvements. It is a little like reviewing a company's policies and procedures after a major change to see what worked and how it can be improved for next time. Learning organizations require feedback loops that lead to better policy making. Concurrent Resolution No.20 is a way of improving our handling of the situation next time. Here is how... During a crisis special powers are giving to people of authority to quickly handle those issues without having to go through a slower legislative process. One example is the Emergency Management Act in 1976. Such acts help to encourage quick coordination of resources and actions that may not have been possible in other situat