Local lawmakers support Republican plan to reopen Michigan

Mitchell Kukulka | Mitchell.Kukulka@mdn.net  | Apr 18, 2020

Senate Republicans have unveiled a plan to slowly and safely reopen the state.

This week, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey revealed the Senate Republican “Open Michigan Safely” plan, which is structured in five phases.

Each phase includes conditions relying on measurable data points — such as falls in case and death rates — to serve as indicators of decreased risk, as well as proposed guidelines for increasing levels of business and citizen activity.

A breakdown each phase can be found at misenategop.com/OpenMISafely.

The proposal would allow low-risk businesses — including those with little to no physical contact between employers, employees and customers — to operate during “Phase 1.” People included in the “low-risk” category would include workers who mow lawns or spray for outdoor pests.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

State Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, commended the senate’s proposal, and said the plan follows scientific data and CDC guidelines for a safe, practical transition.

“It could get people in Bay and Midland counties safely back to work in five-phases, so they can support themselves and their families while continuing to remain vigilant in combating the spread of COVID-19,” Glenn said. “I look forward to working with Gov. Whitmer and the Senate to slow, and if possible, stop the spread of this virus while at the same time finding a safe way to get people back to work and getting our economy moving again. This plan is a step in the right direction.”

Glenn also appreciated the plan’s recognition of geographical boundaries.

“It’s clear the vast majority of COVID-19 cases are located in the Detroit area, for example,” Glenn said. “It’s reasonable to assume that we may have a different timeline for safely reopening our economy here.”

In a press release, Sen. Jim Stamas, a Midland Reublican who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, stated he supports a new proposal designed to help Michigan workers return to their jobs safely and put the state’s economy back on track. Stamas believes the new proposal will help many workers in Michigan who could safely return to work with proper safety measures, but are currently being forced to stay home.

“I was frustrated that the governor didn’t listen to the people when she extended her stay-at-home order, and instead made the situation worse for many Michigan families and small business owners,” Stamas stated. “The coronavirus is a serious health issue, and we need to be taking serious steps to fight it. However, those steps should also be responsible and should address both the public emergency and its impact on people’s lives and ability to support their families.”https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

According to Stamas, Senate Republicans have shared the proposal with Gov. Whitmer and asked her to respond prior to April 30 on how it can be incorporated into short-and long-term plans for Michigan.

At the time of publication, the governor’s office has no returned a request for comment.