Police would be required to intervene if they see that excessive force is about to be used and schools would be prohibited from including the “1619 Project” in their curriculum under bills recently introduced in the Michigan Legislature. Those are just two of the bills members of the House and Senate introduced in May on topics ranging from police reforms to schools to guns.

Todd A. Heywood writes, “Despite all the hoopla and PR, one group of Americans continues to get a confusing message about when and whether to take the vaccine: the immunocompromised community. But federal guidance on vaccination for this group is complicated. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website recommends vaccination, but then refers individuals to their primary care doctors to discuss their specific case. Why?”

Anna Gustafson writes, “But it is that absence that has been so vital this year; it is that emptiness that has paved the way for life. Do not mistake this silence for a lack of numbers: Those of us who have followed the COVID-19 health orders coming from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) fill our state. And, now, after more than a year of listening to the scientists, wearing our masks and social distancing, life is moving towards something almost jarringly familiar, towards something that is beginning to remind us of the lives we were living some 14 months ago.”

Helen McCauslin writes, “Our newspapers are filled these days with the news of the surge in Coronavirus cases requiring hospitalizations in local Michigan institutions. Three Rivers Health, the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, and pharmacies are working daily to test and vaccinate against this evolving virus. Just a little over 100 years ago we faced a similar challenge in the Flu Epidemic of 1918. How prepared were we to care for the sick then?”

Over the last two years, under the leadership of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Robert Gordon, Michigan made it easier to get and keep important benefits. The state now provides additional resources to low-income individuals, seeks to treat residents with respect and has reduced pointless complexity. Many challenges remain and the department’s new leader, Elizabeth Hertel, has an opportunity to accelerate these improvements.

Among bills introduced by the Michigan Legislature this month, gay conversion therapy would be prohibited for minors under SB 367, sponsored by Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak), or HB 4651, sponsored by Rep. Felicia Brabec (D-Pittsfield). At least three Michigan cities have previously banned the practice, which, according to the Human Rights Campaign, falsely claim to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.