By state Rep. Beth Griffin, of Mattawan
Government was meant to be of the people, not one person – and the Michigan Supreme Court rightfully ruled to restore the voice of Southwest Michigan families by confirming that our state’s COVID-19 response needs to be a collaborative effort.
With the resumption of co-equal branches of government, I recently helped introduce a detailed COVID-19 response plan that would give the people of Michigan more certainty and control during these challenging times. The plan relies on science-based, county-level data to guide decision-making, keep people healthy and determine appropriate COVID-19 restrictions locally.
This plan was put together by looking to best practices in other states in consultation with Michigan medical and science professionals, including Van Buren/Cass District Health Department Director Jeff Elliott. Director Elliott himself said empowering local health leaders to make decisions – supported by county-level data – will enable a much more rapid response to better protect residents in each corner of the state.
When data supports it, local health officials would have the discretion to modify COVID-19 policies locally, so long as health data remains below certain thresholds that would trigger statewide intervention strategies. Health thresholds allowing local decision-making would be based on five clear scientific metrics: Case rate, case positivity rate, hospital bed capacity, PPE supply and testing ability of each county.
The health of Michiganders should never be politicized – and this plan ensures politics has no place in determining the state’s response to COVID-19. People expect and deserve the governor and the Legislature to work in tandem to guide Michigan through the remainder of this pandemic – and this plan allows for that.
By empowering people and listening to science, Michigan will have a safe, sensible and improved response to the virus as we move forward to better days ahead.
Rep. Griffin says the House vote Thursday evening to end the $300 weekly federal unemployment pandemic benefit next Tuesday is a move to get Michigan open again and on the road to a prosperous future.
House Workforce and Talent Development Committee Chair Rep. Beth Griffin talks about Thursday’s “State of the Workforce” committee hearing, saying more than a dozen employers testified that they need people to come back to work. Rep. Griffin also called on the Governor to end the additional $300 weekly federal unemployment benefit.
Rep. Beth Griffin today led state House approval of a plan that would end Michigan’s participation in a federal government bonus unemployment payment program that is hindering the economic recovery from the COVID pandemic.