Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says as of midnight she’s pulling back most of her unilateral COVID-19 control measures. The state’s residents and businesses have endured nearly a year and a half of mask orders and severe limits on personal activity and mobility.  What really sent many people into a near sense of shock was hearing the phrase, “...stay home and stay safe”, from the emergency declaration from Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer last March.  The series of unilateral Executive Orders from the Governor, including severe workplace and business restrictions, sent the economy of Michigan into a tailspin. The process used by the Governor to extend her grip on the state was later declared unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court. The conservatively controlled State Legislature is still in the process of canceling the 1945 state law the Governor used as the basis for her long-term virus control program.

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While most of the Governor's Executive Orders, issued through several state departments are not ending, some remain in effect. Those include restrictions intended to protect people being held in local jails and the state prison system. Long-term nursing and medical care facilities are still covered by virus controls.

Any business that wants to continue to impose virus control measures may do so. Few are taking that option.

Conservative legislative leaders believe there is an avenue now to work with the Governor on managing the state. House Speaker Jason Wentworth described it this way following initial negotiations:  “I’ve consistently said I believe the budget process is better with the governor involved, and the state’s pandemic management is better with the Legislature involved. The critical issues facing our state are simply too big and are hurting too many people for us to waste any more time. The people we represent are tired of disagreement and just want results. This agreement is a good first step in getting us to that point.”

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