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Tag Archive | "Governor Whitmer"

Governor files motion on court ruling


By Bruce Walker—The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer filed a motion Monday requesting the Michigan Supreme Court clarify when its ruling nullifying her COVID-19 executive orders issued after April 30 takes effect.

In her motion seeking clarification for the Supreme Court’s decision, issued last Friday, Whitmer claims the ruling does not take effect for at least 28 days.

On Friday, she had stated her executive orders retained the force of law for 21 days.

The Supreme Court struck down the statute under which the governor has issued executive orders for over 200 days.

Whitmer claims an immediate ruling effect would cause up to 830,000 Michigan workers to lose unemployment benefits and cause confusion for the other orders she’s issued.

“The Supreme Court has spoken, and while I vehemently disagree with their ruling, I’m ready to work across the aisle with Republicans in the legislature where we can find common ground to slow the spread of the virus and rebuild our economy,” Whitmer said in a statement.

“It’s time for Republicans in the Legislature to get to work and start showing that they are taking this crisis seriously. They can start by canceling their October recess and getting back to work. Let’s work together and get this done.”

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon said the ruling raises legal questions and needs time to transition.

“Make no mistake, Governor Whitmer will continue using every tool at her disposal to keep Michigan families, frontline workers, and small businesses safe from this deadly virus,” Gordon said in a statement.

“The same is true for our department. We will use every statutory tool available to protect our state employees and the residents we serve. We also need Michiganders to do their part by wearing a mask, maintaining six feet of physical distancing, washing hands frequently, and getting their flu vaccine. We will get through this together.”

The Michigan Supreme Court Friday unanimously agreed Whitmer lacked authority to extend her state of emergency past April 30 without approval from the GOP-controlled legislature.

Whitmer contends her powers are still active, but in the meantime, local health departments are issuing orders.

In a July 29 executive order, Gordon cited a 1978 law, saying “Every person in this state must comply with the rules, procedures, and restrictions outlined in EO 2020-153, EO 2020-160, and EO 2020-161” – all orders issued after April 30.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Press Secretary Ryan Jarvi, citing the Friday ruling, said they “will no longer enforce the Governor’s Executive Orders through criminal prosecution.”

“However, her decision is not binding on other law enforcement agencies or state departments with independent enforcement authority,” Jarvi said in a statement.

“It’s her fervent hope that people continue to abide by the measures that Governor Whitmer put in place – like wearing face masks, adhering to social distancing requirements and staying home when sick – since they’ve proven effective at saving lives.”

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State applies for federal funding to provide additional $300 per week to unemployed


Governor reiterates calls on the president, Congress to work together on a longer-term recovery package to bolster unemployment benefits

LANSING, Mich.–The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) submitted an application to the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) on Tuesday for funding that would provide an additional $300per week payment to Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits.

“Right now, there are an unprecedented number of Michiganders who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide some much-needed support for families that are struggling to put food on the table or pay their bills, but it’s a short term bandaid that falls short of what’s needed,” said Governor Whitmer. “A robust Congressional recovery package that meets the scale of this crisis is what’s needed to help individuals who have lost work as a result of the pandemic get through this unprecedented time.”

The UIA estimates that under the program, about 910,000 Michiganders would receive at least $300 per week in supplemental benefits. The program allows for existing Unemployment Trust Fund payments delivered by Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency to count as 25 percent matching funds required for participation. Eligible claimants will be paid benefits retroactive to August 1. It is unclear at this time how long funding for the program will last.

We look forward to receiving a response from FEMA in order to implement and distribute these additional funds to Michiganders as quickly as possible, said UIA Director Steve Gray. Michigan workers are advised to continue their bi-weekly certifications as they normally would and do not need to contact the UIA or make changes to their MiWAM account to receive these additional funds.

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Governor Whitmer Extends Stay Home, Stay Safe Order


Directs residents to wear homemade masks in enclosed public spaces and lifts restrictions on activities like lawn care, golfing, boating

LANSING, Mich. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order 2020-59 last week, extending her Stay Home, Stay Safe order through May 15. The new order will require people to wear homemade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. It will also lift some restrictions on outdoor activities and allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back to work.

“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat this enemy,” said Governor Whitmer. “With new COVID-19 cases leveling off, however, we are lifting some of the restrictions put in place in the previous order. I want to be crystal clear: the overarching message today is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe as much as possible.”

“The numbers we’ve seen in the past week have shown a plateau in positive cases, but Michiganders must continue doing their part to fight this virus and protect their families,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “The governor has taken a number of critical steps to protect Michigan families, and this order today will allow that work to continue. We will keep monitoring the data closely and work with our partners across state government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The order will require people to wear homemade, non-medical grade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. It will also require employers to provide at least cloth face coverings to their employees. People won’t have to wear face coverings when they’re taking a walk in the neighborhood, but when they go to the grocery store, they should be wearing one. Under the order, however, no one will be subject to criminal penalty for going without a mask.

The new executive order will also allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back on the job. Landscapers, lawn-service companies, and nurseries can return to work, subject to strict social distancing. Retailers that do not sell necessary supplies may reopen for curbside pick-up and for delivery. Big box stores can reopen closed areas, like garden centers. And bike repair and maintenance can come back online.

At the same time, the order will ease up on some restrictions on members of the public. It will, for example, allow motorized boating and golf (but no golf carts), consistent with sound social distancing. It will also permit individuals to travel between their residences, though such travel during the epidemic is strongly discouraged. And it will clarify that state parks remain open, as they have been throughout the emergency.

The governor’s actions today are in close alignment with other Midwest states. On April 16, Governor Whitmer announced that she and Governors Mike DeWine (OH), Tony Evers (WI), Tim Walz (MN), JB Pritzker (IL), Eric Holcomb (IN), and Andy Beshear (KY) will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region. The governor is committed to continuing to work closely with other governors to protect families and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

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Governor prohibits large gatherings


Governor orders that events and shared-space assemblages over 250 people be canceled or postponed

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-5 to cancel all events over 250 people and all assemblages in shared spaces over 250 people beginning on Friday, March 13 at 5:00 p.m. and ending on Sunday, April 5 at 5:00 p.m. The governors executive order also closes all K-12 school buildings to students from Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. Childcare facilities will remain open during this time, whether they are attached to schools or free standing.

Under this executive order, all events and shared-space assemblages of more than 250 people are temporarily prohibited in the state. Certain assemblages are exempt from this prohibition, such as those for the purpose of: industrial or manufacturing work, mass transit, or the purchase of groceries or consumer goods.

“This is about protecting the most people we can from the spread of coronavirus”, said Governor Whitmer. “My administration will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread, and to ensure our children, families, and businesses have the support they need during this time. We are going to get through this, but we must be flexible and take care of each other.”

“Prohibiting large assemblages is the smart thing to do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “It’s crucial that everyone in Michigan follow these orders and make smart choices that will slow the spread of the virus, including practicing good hygiene and social distancing. We will continue to work with the governor and our partners across state government to protect Michigan families and businesses.”

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  * Fever

  * Cough

  * Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

  * If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.

  * Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer. 

  * Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands. 

  * Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing. 

  * Avoid contact with people who are sick. 

  * If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.

  * Replace handshakes with elbow bumps.

  * Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/ and CDC.gov/Coronavirus https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.

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