Governor Gretchen Whitmer

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that she was closing indoor seating in bars in parts of the state, including a college town where one brewpub has been linked to about 140 infections.

Whitmer also signed a bill allowing bars and restaurants to sell to-go cocktails in an effort to help those businesses.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday allowed for the return of pro sports in Michigan as long as fans aren’t in attendance.

The move followed Major League Baseball’s decision this week to set a 60-game schedule to start July 23 or July 24 in empty ballparks. The governor said pro teams can resume operations notwithstanding capacity limits and restrictions on gatherings and events to curb the coronavirus.

Games must be played without a live audience for the “time being.” Only staff of the facility and media can attend.

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A legal battle between the state and gym owners will determine whether gyms will open across the state this week.

Last week, a federal court granted an injunction allowing gyms across the state to reopen starting on Thursday.

In his decision granting a preliminary injunction to gyms on Friday, Judge Paul Maloney wrote that when gyms asked in court why they must remain closed the state could only answer “trust us.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended Michigan's coronavirus emergency declaration until July 16, enabling her to keep intact restrictions and orders that remain after she lifted a stay-at-home policy. The governor - who has been gradually reopening the state - hopes to let gyms, movie theaters and bowling alleys reopen by July 4. They currently are only operating in northern Michigan. The state of emergency also is the underpinning for orders that make people eligible for unemployment an additional six weeks, pause evictions, and require masks and social distancing during the pandemic.

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The Michigan Legislature has approved spending $880 million in federal relief aid in response to the coronavirus pandemic, setting aside funding for frontline workers, municipalities and child care providers. The bill would allocate more than a quarter of the $3 billion sent to state government by Congress and President Donald Trump. The Senate plans to pass the legislation later Wednesday. It's expected to be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer
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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that K-12 schools can reopen for in-person instruction as long as Michigan’s successful containment of the coronavirus doesn’t lapse, subject to safety rules she will announce June 30.

Schools closed in March and ended the academic year with online or other remote learning. The governor said schools may resume physical instruction during phase 4 of her restart plan. All of the state is in that stage or, in northern Michigan, where COVID-19 cases and deaths are low, a step further along.

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Dana Nessel

Michigan’s top law enforcement official unveiled several changes she hopes to make to policing in the state, including a public registry of verified police misconduct claims meant to increase transparency and prevent problem officers from getting rehired in law enforcement elsewhere.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer portrait
Michigan.gov

A recent state-wide poll indicates a majority of Michigan voters support Governor Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Lansing-based EPIC-MRA conducted a poll in late-May and early June surveying 600 registered Michigan voters, 40-percent by cell phone.

When asked how they would rate Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, 60% responded positively while 40% gave her negative marks.

Gretchen Whitmer
Gov. Whimter's office

 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called Wednesday for policy changes to prevent police abuses following the killings of George Floyd and other black people, backing continuing education for officers in Michigan and legislation that would require training on implicit bias and deescalation techniques.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer
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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told Congress Tuesday that Michigan still lacks enough supplies to fully ramp up testing for the coronavirus and said it is difficult to determine what the U.S. government is shipping.

Frustrated hairdressers, meanwhile, said during a legislative hearing that the governor should let them reopen for business.

CONGRESSIONAL TESTIMONY

Whitmer said while the state is appreciative for the federal assistance, information about the types of swabs and other testing supplies being delivered is sometimes inaccurate.

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