Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, faced with lawsuits challenging her use of emergency powers to fight the coronavirus, could continue to prevail in court.

But she may be unable to stop a Republican maneuver that would rescind a 75-year-old law that has enabled her to issue and lift COVID-19 restrictions unilaterally. A ballot drive said Friday it was in the “home stretch” after collecting more than 400,000 signatures in just two months. Its goal is 500,000.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer late Wednesday clarified her order requiring masks in organized sports, saying they must be worn in training and competition only when athletes cannot consistently keep 6 feet apart.

The measure explicitly mentions football, soccer and volleyball as sports where face coverings are a must due to the coronavirus pandemic. But it also now exempts sports in which athletes can keep distance “except for occasional and fleeting moments” — such as tennis, golf, cross country, baseball and softball.

Michigan Capitol Building photo
Michigan Senate / www.senate.michigan.gov

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday signed a budget bill that will fund a federal $300-a-week unemployment benefit, flood cleanup costs in the Midland area and Michigan’s contribution toward a project to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

The $2.8 billion in spending is almost entirely federally funded.

It is unclear how long the supplemental $300 weekly jobless benefit will last. It is less than a $600-a-week payment that expired but still more than what people typically get from the state.

Michigan Supreme Court photo
Subterranean via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

The Michigan Supreme Court has postponed arguments over Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s use of emergency powers until Sept. 9.

The one-week delay is necessary because of an illness on Justice Richard Bernstein’s staff. He said an “indispensable” aide is struggling with COVID-19.

“Because of my blindness, I depend on him to help me review and internalize thousands of pages of material. ... The work he does with me takes extensive time and effort and cannot be done without him,” Bernstein said.

school desks photo
Public Domain Images | CC BY 2.0 / public-domain-image.com

A federal judge in California blocked a federal rule that Michigan and seven other states said would unlawfully allow too much pandemic relief aid to be diverted from K-12 public schools to private ones.

Judge James Donato ruled late Wednesday. It came days after a different federal judge issued a similar injunction in a lawsuit filed by Washington state.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

The Justice Department on Wednesday sent letters to the governors of New York and three other Democratic-led states, seeking data on whether they violated federal law by ordering public nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals — actions that have been criticized for potentially fueling the spread of the virus.

Prosecutors said the fact-finding letters also sent to New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan were aimed at determining whether the orders “may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents.”

Flu vaccine photo
Wikimedia Commons

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday urged Michigan residents to get the flu vaccine to ease the load on the health system if there is a surge of coronavirus cases during the fall and winter influenza season, announcing the state wants at least 1 million more people vaccinated.

She received a flu shot during a news conference to “show how easy it is.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

The state on Friday fined six Michigan businesses thousands of dollars for allegedly not protecting workers from the coronavirus, in what was described as an initial round of citations as regulators confront a five-fold increase in safety complaints during the pandemic.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency declarations and orders to curb the coronavirus clearly fall within the scope of her powers, the state’s appeals court ruled Friday, rejecting Republican lawmakers’ contention that she cannot indefinitely act without their approval.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — “that woman from Michigan” — touted Joe Biden’s work to rescue the auto industry and said he would rally the country to fight the coronavirus and not deny it like President Donald Trump has.

The first-term battleground governor, who a week ago was a finalist to be Biden’s running mate, spoke on the opening night of Democrats’ virtual nominating convention Monday. She addressed a national audience from a United Auto Workers hall whose members make Chevrolet Camaros and Cadillac sedans in Lansing.

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