The governor’s political sideshow and unilateral power grab continued today as we learned that the “three-week pause” on indoor dining at restaurants is now going to reach almost three months.
Just as restaurants were gearing up to open their doors in a few days, the governor’s administration once again said “not so fast.” They’ve done this under the guise of allowing these business owners time to plan and comply with safety standards.
My question is simple: Why not release these “standards” in time to open this weekend? We continue to live in a world in which there are no clear standards set, no clear data released, no clear path forward. Just whims and political posturing.
Why do we continue to pretend that there is a massively increased risk of getting sick at a restaurant, as compared to other businesses? Business owners are smart, and they aren’t going to put themselves, their employees, and their customers at risk. Their business literally depends on keeping them safe and healthy while they’re open.
We can’t dine-in at restaurants, at socially distanced tables, masking up except for when you’re eating. We can go inside and pick up carry-out, we can sit outside under a temporary structure and eat together, but if it’s a permanent structure – absolutely not!
It’s yet another chapter in the story of inconsistency and industry-specific attacks on Michigan’s economy. The governor wrapped up 2020 by vetoing legislation to extend unemployment benefits for those filing in 2021, and she opened 2021 by keeping Michigan closed and people unemployed. It’s nothing short of cruelty.
Instead of scapegoating restaurants, let’s talk about real plans to keep Michigan’s businesses open. Let’s talk about the vaccine rollout that’s been completely botched by the administration. Let’s talk about getting people back to work safely; governing from your ivory tower as if the people you’re hurting are just pawns in a political game is abhorrent.
As I’ve said many times, we absolutely need to make smart decisions to keep each other safe as we continue to navigate this pandemic. There is no doubt about that. But this false ‘either-or’ narrative that the governor keeps pushing is wrong – and simply put, restaurants are not to be singularly blamed for the spread of COVID-19. The continued rhetoric the governor’s office is pushing is not keeping anybody safer than they were the day before; it is only hurting Michiganders.
State Rep. Sarah Lightner today led the Michigan House in approving a plan to create a Corrections Employee Wellness Board to ensure the men and women who work in Michigan’s prison system have access to mental health support and other wellness programs.
State Rep. Sarah Lightner today testified before the House Elections and Ethics Committee in support of her plan to clearly prohibit outside organizations from accessing the state’s qualified voter file (QVF).