Guv reopens construction, jousts with solons over extension
By N3 News Team
During her Wednesday news conference Governor Whitmer stated she would sign an order Friday allowing both residential and commercial construction to resume beginning May 7th.
The Legislature is considering her request to extend the state of emergency, set to expire on Thursday, 4 more weeks to May 28th but there looks to be resistance from the Republican majority in the House and Senate who did not vote on the issue during session today.
“They are acting as though we are in the middle of a political problem," she said of Republicans critical of her orders during the coronavirus pandemic. "This is not a political problem we have. It’s a public health crisis.”
The Governor believes the extension is necessary because the coronavirus emergency remains but added her executive orders and emergency powers would not be affected if the Legislature doesn't approve the extension.
“As we reengage, we have to do so slowly. This is not a political conversation, this is not political negotiation, this is about the public health,” she said. “That’s precisely what these emergency powers are all about.”
The Governor recognized the strain her decisions have put on workers and small business owners, but said she is making decisions aimed at keeping people safe and getting the economy moving again.
"I am completely focused on saving lives. I'm not going to engage in political negotiations with anybody," Whitmer said. "We don't have time for politics and games when people's lives are on the line."
"I believe in science and the need to protect public health, however, I firmly believe that the preventative measures taken to slow the spread of this illness have gone too far and gone on for too long,” said 100th District State Representative Scott VanSingel. “This is not a partisan position or belief, rather, I have seen the economic devastation this shutdown has caused and believe that we need to reopen our economy as soon as possible while being conscious of best practices in regards to sanitation health.
“House and Senate leadership teams are working closely with the governor to arrive at a reasonable balance, but there seems to be a large divide. At this point I will find it difficult to continue extending emergency powers to the governor if we cannot achieve some very reasonable concessions such as evaluating restrictions by region rather than statewide and evaluating industries based on risk, not just whether they are essential."