Lawmakers recoil over Whitmer’s latest stay-home order

Apr. 11, 2020  PLYMOUTH VOICE.

Plymouth Michigan News


Don Howard

Staff Writer

Last Thursday, Gov.Gretchen Whitmer extended her order to close non-essential businesses in the state through April 30. Her latest stay-home order has lawmakers, business owners and residents upset and in various states of confusion as to what they can and can not do during the coronavirus lockdown; raising questions and concerns about her interpretation on what should be considered “non-essential.”

Now lawmakers want her to reconsider.

The governor’s directive relies on guidance from the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to identify critical infrastructure workers exempt from the stay-home order.

Guidance on the essential critcal infrastructure workforce

“State, local, tribal, and territorial governments are responsible for implementing and executing response activities, including decisions about access and reentry, in their communities, while the Federal Government is in a supporting role. Officials should use their own judgment in issuing implementation directives and guidance. Similarly, while adhering to relevant public health guidance, critical infrastructure owners and operators are expected to use their own judgment on issues of the prioritization of business processes and workforce allocation to best ensure continuity of the essential goods and services they support,”

According to a published article in the Holland Sentinel, by Arpan Lobo, some Michigan lawmakers believe Whitmer’s decision puts too much stress on the state’s economy, preventing Michigan residents from working and earning.

Here are some of their comments.

“Unfortunately, after hearing the governor’s decision to place more restrictions on businesses and declare a ‘stay at home order’ until April 30, it appears she has no plans to get Michigan back to work,” said Rep. Luke Meerman, R-Allendale, in a statement.

“She’s not listening to business owners and the working people of Michigan who want to go back to work.

“She continues to use this public health crisis as a political audition for her aspirations to become vice president of the United States. I am ashamed and extremely frustrated with the lack of flexibility the governor has shown in allowing businesses, who can operate safely, go back to work.”

State Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, said Whitmer could have shaped the extension in a way that allowed outdoor businesses, like greenhouses, to open their doors.

“When she reissued her ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order until April 30, she did so with the caveat that we will not go back to normal operations on May 1 and did nothing to address many of our businesses currently in danger of permanent closure,” Victory said in a statement.

“She explicitly failed to make any amendments that would allow our greenhouses and outdoor-related industries to operate in any capacity.”

“Michiganders have heeded Gov. Whitmer’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order since March 24. … All they are asking in return is to be allowed to plant flowers and vegetable gardens and tend to the basic needs of their homes and yards,” he said.

“Allowing our greenhouses to sell flowers, shrubs and saplings safely via curbside pickup and online ordering will not only save an entire industry from certain bankruptcy, but it will also greatly improve the mental health of every Michigander sheltering in their home. If all you see out your window is overgrown lawns and barren flowerbeds, ‘staying home and staying safe’ will become more and more daunting and depressing.”

According to Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Township, Whitmer’s order is “nonsensical.”

“Under the governor’s expanded order, you can pick up marijuana curbside at a dispensary, but you can’t pick up gardening materials curbside from our local greenhouses.”

“An 85-year-old with a respiratory condition can mow their lawn, but can’t hire their 17-year-old neighbor – who is unemployed and off school for the rest of the year – to do it for them. Hundreds of these nonsensical situations exist under the governor’s order.”

“It’s important that we remember that we’re all in this together,” the Governor said. “Creating all sorts of exceptions to what is going to last for three more weeks — what this stay-at-home order is — every exception we make makes it more porous and less likely to be successful.”

Link to frequently asked questions about the coronavirus:

Executive Order 2020-42 FAQ’s


Plymouth Voice.

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