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Whitmer says she still hopes Legislature will adopt mask mandate, COVID relief


Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature’s Republican and Democratic leaders spoke again today about year-end priorities. The governor is still trying to strike a bargain with GOP leaders on plans to address the COVID-19 crisis.

The governor’s budget office says there’s money waiting in the bank that could be used to help set up a vaccine distribution system, provide safety gear to health care workers, and help struggling workers and businesses. 

“I stand ready to sign a bill that gives them that help. But I can’t send it to myself. It’s on the Legislature to get it done and it’s my fervent hope that they do that before they take a break.” 

Republicans have pushed back against Whitmer’s expansive use of emergency powers. 
But the governor says she won’t – as part of the bargain -- give up the state’s existing authority to issue emergency health orders. She says the Legislature could adopt a bill to put a mask mandate into state law.

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