Rick Pluta

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed COVID-19-related bills into law today. They add protections for employers from COVID-19-related lawsuits and for employees from being fired for refusing to work when they’re sick.

Businesses would have stronger immunity if they follow safety precautions. Plaintiffs would have to prove gross negligence and show specific injuries – such as hospitalization for COVID-19.

       But employees could not be fired for refusing to show up for work when they’re sick.


The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is once again allowing in-person visits at nursing homes across much of the state.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says cases across the state are increasing at an alarming rate. But her Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon says the order only allows visits at facilities in counties deemed “low risk.” The home must also have no new COVID-19 cases reported within the past 2 weeks .

Michigan legislature

Republican state lawmakers have presented their version of a COVID-19 response plan.

This state House GOP proposal follows a court ruling that struck down many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s unilateral emergency orders.

There are still state public health department orders that require masks and distancing. But Governor Whitmer and the Republican-controlled Legislature will have to strike a deal on other measures.

The House Republican plan would give more decision-making power to counties with continued low infection rates, said state Representative Julie Calley.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun
State of Michigan

The state’s Chief Medical Executive was among those who testified today before a joint House and Senate committee examining the state’s COVID-19 response.

This is the first time Whitmer administration officials appeared before the Republican-led COVID panel since the state Supreme Court ruled the governor stretched the limits of her emergency powers.

Openly carried firearms will not be allowed at polling places.

       Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she’s using her authority to ensure fair and orderly elections.

Spokesman Jake Rollow says the directive will help ensure people can vote without feeling threatened during a very heated election. The directive says openly carried guns won’t be allowed within 100 feet of a polling place, clerks’ offices where absentee ballots are dropped off, and where absentee ballot counting boards meet.

An eighth man faces a criminal charge in connection with the alleged plot to kidnap Governor Gretchen Whitmer and put her on trial over her COVID-19 orders.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign a series of bills adopted by the Legislature as part of a deal on the state’s response to COVID-19. It includes extending unemployment benefits for people who lost their jobs during the health crisis.

Job loss benefits would be extended for as long as 26 weeks for people who lost employment for reasons related to the COVID-19 crisis. That would match an executive order from Whitmer that was struck down by the state Supreme Court because she acted without legislative approval.    

State and federal authorities have charged a group of suspected terrorists with a plot that included kidnapping Governor Gretchen Whitmer and storming the state Capitol.

The Michigan State Police and the FBI say the plotters also staked out Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s vacation home and planned to kidnap her, bring her to a remote location, and charge put her on trial for “treason.”
                US Attorney Matthew Schneider said this appeared to be a militia operation with the goal of toppling Michigan’s government, and attracting anti-government supporters.

The state Senate will meet tomorrow. This will be the first time lawmakers return to the Capitol since a Michigan Supreme Court opinion. It declared Governor Gretchen Whitmer exceeded her authority by continuing to issue COVID-19 emergency orders.

picture of Gov. Whitmer


Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the state Department of Health and Human Services will start issuing more COVID-19-related emergency orders. That’s after the Michigan Supreme Court said she’s stretched the limits of her emergency powers.

The court fight over absentee voting in Michigan is not over. Republican leaders say they’ve filed a notice today that an appeal of the latest court ruling is on the way.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a 68 (b) billion dollar state budget just before the new fiscal year begins tomorrow.

The budget process this year was swift, secretive, and successful at getting a plan finalized just before the deadline.

       Governor Whitmer said she’s pleased Democrats and Republicans agreed to NOT cut funds for schools and local governments. The budget also includes money to help workers train for careers in skilled trades, and to help reduce African-American infant mortality.


Republicans Terri Lynn Land and Ruth Johnson are the immediate predecessors to Democrat Jocelyn Benson. She wants ballots to be counted as long as they were sent before the polls close. Land and Johnson want a judge to set a hard deadline of 8 o’clock election night for absentee ballots to arrive.

Stu Sandler is the general counsel for the Michigan Republican Party, who also says that should be the rule.


“We need some certainty. We need some application of Michigan law, and hopefully this gets resolved quickly.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will issue a declaration to extend Michigan’s COVID-19 state of emergency.

She will do that before the current state of emergency expires later this week.

Republicans in the Legislature and business groups are using litigation and a petition drive to try and curtail the governor’s emergency powers.


Members of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s cabinet offered more details today on the goal she set of making Michigan a “carbon neutral” state by 2050.

The plans include adding electric vehicle charging stations at state parks and recreation areas, working with utilities to meet their emissions reduction targets, and a panel to help develop ways to address the impact on jobs and businesses.
                Liesl Clark is the director of the state Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.