State by State Advocacy Series – July 2020 Great Lakes/Midwest Recap

NMMA’s July state advocacy update for the Great Lakes and Midwest region is outlined below and covers travel restrictions, business liability, business relief, and wakesurfing policy. 

Reopening Pause: Governor Holcomb of Indiana indicated the Hoosier state would not move from Stage 4.5 to Stage 5 as planned in mid-July. Due to an increased rate of cases, Indiana will remain in Stage 4.5 until July 31. Manufacturing operations are not impacted by this delay, but large gatherings are impacted. Read more details here.

Travel Restrictions: Chicago: Visitors must self-quarantine for two weeks if they traveled from states experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases. The order applies to travelers from the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

Business Liability:  As businesses deal with the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic, outdated business liability rules have come to the forefront of business protection needs.  

  • Iowa: In June,S. 2338 was enacted to provide civil liability protection to business owners. The law states that the premises owners shall not be held civilly liable for COVID-19 exposures or infections absent reckless disregard or actual malice.  
  • Kansas: In June, Governor Laura Kelly signed into law H.B. 2016, a law that shields businesses from COVID-19 suits if they can prove they substantially complied with applicable regulations and guidance. The law is retroactive to March 12 and expires on January 26, 2021.
  • Ohio: The legislature passed H.B. 606, a bill that would bar individuals from filing civil suits against premises owners and health care providers in connection with injuries or deaths stemming from coronavirus infection or exposure. H.B. 606 is currently awaiting signature from the Governor.

Business Relief: NMMA is monitoring business relief and grant opportunities which is regularly updated here. Michigan has allocated $100 million of CARES Act funding to implement the Michigan Small Business Restart Program, which will provide grants of up to $20,000 to businesses and nonprofits that have realized significant financial hardship due to COVID-19. The funds can be used for working capital to support payroll, rent, mortgage and utility expenses or other similar expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. Read more here.

Wakesurfing:

  • Minnesota: The Lake Minnetonka Conservation District (LMCD) has hosted conversations regarding lake use – in particular to wake boats. NMMA is advocating for equitable access for users. Additionally, the University of Minnesota is crowdfunding for a study that will “measure the height and energy of waves and depth and force of propeller wash generated by wake boats and other large watercraft to better understand and quantify their impacts on lake bottoms shorelines.” Read more here.
  • Wisconsin: Residents are pushing for local ordinances that would eliminate or limit wakesurfing. NMMA, in partnership with WSIA, MRAA and local stakeholders, have mobilized to mitigate these threats.

Contact David Dickerson, ddickerson@nmma.org, or Jill Sims, jsims@nmma.org, with questions or for more information.