Whitmer

High school basketball finals are happening this week in Michigan. That’s despite the fact that the CDC has recommended Michigan restrict indoor youth sports.
 

The governor said tightening restrictions is NOT on the table right now. However, she would NOT rule that out in the future. She said the plan right now is to rely on people to do the right thing when it comes to masks, distancing, and getting vaccinated – and hope that beats how fast the coronavirus is spreading.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer helped launch a new mass COVID-19 vaccination site today  in Oakland County.

Whitmer said she’s focused on getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible; encouraging people to continue to wear masks;  and to remain socially distanced in public places.

   She’s held back on re-tightening restrictions despite escalating case numbers and hospitalizations. Whitmer said  “COVID fatigue” is a problem.

   “All the best policies in the world don’t do any good if people won’t comply or won’t follow, do their best to follow them.”

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer today resubmitted 17 appointments to state boards and commissions that were rejected by the state Senate. It’s part of the standoff between Whitmer and Republicans over COVID-19 restrictions in the state.
 

Most restrictions are lifted now, but Whitmer said the COVID response is still too embroiled in politics, and she can’t promise restrictions won’t be reinstated if Michigan’s COVID numbers continue to get worse.

“We know that every action that we bring back online creates the risk inherent that we’re going to see our numbers go up.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed another attempt by the Legislature to contain her efforts to manage the COVID-19 crisis in Michigan.

The bill would have required the Legislature to vote on whether to extend an order from the state Department of Health and Human Services beyond 28 days.

The veto places in question the future of 300 million dollars in COVID response federal funds. The legislation linked the power to spend those funds with Whitmer’s signature on the bill. 

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The Republican-led Legislature voted today to send Governor Gretchen Whitmer a new round of COVID-19 response bills that are very similar to versions she’s already vetoed.

This is the latest episode in the ongoing the back-and-forth between Republicans and the Democratic governor over her use of emergency powers – and her ability to use them again the future.

   Republicans say the governor’s abused her authority and slowed the recovery from COVID, while Democrats such as Senator Curtis Hertel say the GOP majorities have turned the crisis into a partisan fight.           

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive directive today describing how her administration will use confidentiality clauses in separation deals.

Whitmer said the purpose is to promote transparency, but it does not entirely bar the use of confidentiality deals. However, it does say the state can’t force an employee to remain silent about the fact that a confidentiality agreement exists.

   Deborah Gordon is an employment and labor attorney.

    “I understand why from a public policy point of view people want to understand why       

The Michigan Senate voted along party lines today to authorize a lawsuit against Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The Senate Republican majority OK’d a potential challenge to Whitmer’s use of line-item vetoes in budget bills. The bills were meant to rein in Whitmer’s use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said it’s time to let people and businesses make their own decisions on how to be safe during the pandemic.

       “This governor does not trust the citizens of Michigan to do the right thing.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed two budget bills to fund the state’s COVID-19 response. But the bills also include line-item vetoes to the chagrin of Republicans and business groups.
 

The governor vetoed restrictions adopted by the GOP-led Legislature on how the money could be used. Dave Massaron is the governor’s budget director.

“There were some political games played with some of the funding that put restrictions on the ability to use that funding. Legal review of those restrictions and the impact of those restrictions is ongoing.”

The governor said, with an allusion to the COVID-19 crisis, that she’s ready to sign a bill, calling it “the right thing to do.”

“The vaccine for discrimination is legislation. We’re going to administer it so the state can build back better for all Michiganders.”

A coalition of business groups is calling on the governor and the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration to allow more people to return to offices to do their jobs.

The MIOSHA rule expires April 14th, but it can be renewed for six months. It says people can’t go to the office if they can work from home.

   Veronica Horn with the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce.

“Zoom is nice, but it simply doesn’t replace the need for in-person work in complex situations. I think we’ve all learned it’s hard to innovate and collaborate from our kitchen tables.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer had an online meeting today with Black business leaders. She asked for help getting the Legislature to adopt her budget plans – including COVID-19 response funding.
 

One of the big controversies is the use of a “social vulnerability index” to help ensure medically under-served areas get their share of vaccines. Whitmer has said that’s also critical to ensuring the most susceptible people can return to work.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer asked Upper Peninsula civic leaders to support her 2021 agenda, including clean energy and workforce training plans. And she asked them to hold to account politicians who fail to condemn hate and violence in public life.

Whitmer’s message was consistent with what she’s said elsewhere – that threats and violence have become normalized, and bitter rhetoric stands in the way of fixing problems.

“So, we’ll all be better off if we bring down the temperature of public discourse so we can stay focused on the things that really matter.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer asked business leaders today to back her COVID-19 relief plans and to demand civility in politics.

Whitmer addressed the influential Detroit Regional Chamber in an online session. She asked the chamber to use its clout to help erase a toxic political culture.

“I think in this moment that it’s really important that the chamber and the members of the chamber lean in and hold people who espouse rhetoric that is dangerous accountable.”

  

Governor Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her 67 billion dollar proposed budget today.  Now she must sell her plan to the Legislature’s Republican leaders.

The relationship between the Democratic governor and GOP leaders has hovered between frosty and hostile, with fights over the state’s COVID-19 response often at the center.

   The governor said settling disagreements on return-to-school plans, helping businesses, and vaccine distribution is critical as the response moves from crisis management to recovery.

Michigan Capitol Building photo
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

The Legislature’s Republican leaders say they were pleased to hear Governor Gretchen Whitmer call for unity and bipartisanship in Wednesday night’s State of the State address. But the GOP leaders also say they’re not convinced Whitmer means what she said.

Republicans have taken issue with the governor’s use of executive orders and public health orders to enact COVID-19 restrictions. GOP leaders say they’re ready to use the Legislature’s budget power to force Whitmer to bargain.

House Speaker Jason Wentworth said he’s still waiting on details from the governor.

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