Gov. Whitmer Mandates Masks Indoors with $500 Fine; Retail Group Says Rule ‘Impossible’ to Enforce

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-147, requiring Michiganders to wear a mask when in an indoor public space starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

The order also requires residents to wear a mask in crowded outdoor spaces and mandates any business open to the public to refuse entry or service to those without a mask, with some exceptions.

Read More

Appeals Court Orders Most Michigan Gyms Closed

Hours before Michigan’s indoor fitness centers were allowed to open for the first time in months, a Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel told the gyms to keep their doors shut.

A three-judge panel issued an emergency stay sought by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, freezing the preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney that would have allowed gyms to open at 12:01 am Thursday.

Read More

U.S Republicans Ask Nessel to Investigate Whitmer’s COVID-19 Policy; Whitmer Creates Nursing Home Task Force

Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.

Read More

Michigan Unemployment Claims Continue Upward Trend

More than 28,500 Michigan workers joined the ranks of the unemployed in the week ending June 6, bringing the total number of state residents filing unemployment claims to 870,772 since restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Michigan unemployment claims are among the highest in the nation.

Read More

House Republicans Ask Whitmer to Rescind COVID-19 Nursing Home Policy

House Republicans on Monday asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to rescind her policy that requires recovering COVID-19 patients to be placed in isolated parts of designated nursing homes.

“Nursing homes have the very frailest of our population,” Rep. Kathy Crawford, R-Novi, told The Center Square. “Very many of them are bedridden. Nursing homes don’t have enough staff to take care of the daily needs of people who are in nursing homes.”

Read More

Michigan Had 17 of 25 Counties with Highest Unemployment Nationally in April

Michigan was home to 17 of the 25 counties with the highest unemployment numbers in the nation in April.

According to a database from Lansing State Journal, Cheboygan County led the nation in unemployment with a 41.2 percent unemployment rate. Second in the nation was Mackinac County at 38.1 percent.

Read More

Despite Drop in New Claims, Michigan Unemployment Ninth Highest in Nation

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer allows more sectors of the economy to open, Michigan unemployment claims dropped to 956,418 in the week ending May 30, compared to 985,294 claims the prior week ending May 23.

Those numbers are the lowest unemployment figures in Michigan since the beginning of measures to contain the coronavirus were initiated in late March.

Read More

DOJ Backs Michigan Businesses Against Whitmer’s ‘Arbitrary and Irrational’ Restrictions

The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest Friday challenging Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “arbitrary and irrational” restrictions on her state’s businesses.

The move came as part of Attorney General William Barr’s efforts to ensure that civil liberties are protected during the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in a press release. The statement of interest supports a lawsuit filed by seven Michigan businesses challenging Whitmer’s restrictions.

Read More

New Email Shows Gretchen Whitmer’s Office Gave the ‘Green Light’ to Award Coronavirus Contract to Democratic Firms

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer distanced herself from a much-criticized decision to award a no-bid contract to two Democratic firms to handle the state’s coronavirus contact tracing.

But a senior adviser in the Michigan Department of the Health and Human Services said that the executive office of the governor [EOG] gave the contract a “green light,” a newly public email shows.

Read More

Business Leader Erik Kiilunen Is Fighting to Reopen Michigan

After Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued executive orders forcing the closure of many of the state’s businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic, small-businessman Erik Kiilunen said he saw $600,000 in contracts disappear overnight.

Kiilunen, of Ahmeek, Michigan, runs Kiilunen Manufacturing Group, which makes construction materials.

Read More

Owosso Barber Granted Legal Reprieve from Governor’s Lockdown Order

The ongoing saga of Owosso barber Karl Manke’s battle against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to shutter businesses during the coronavirus pandemic turned another page on Thursday.

Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew J. Stewart determined state attorneys failed to convince him Manke’s refusal to comply with the governor’s order posed an imminent threat to the public. As a result, Manke’s shop on Owosso’s Main Street will remain open and the 77-year-old barber will be cutting hair for the foreseeable future.

Read More

Lawmaker Requests Investigation into COVID-19 Order for Long-Term Care Facilities, State to Provide More Data This Month

A Michigan lawmaker has requested an investigation into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-84, which forces some nursing homes below an 80 percent capacity to create a unit dedicated to caring for residents with COVID-19.

That order expires after Wednesday.

Read More

Owosso Barber Draws Support After License Suspended for Violating Gov. Whitmer’s Shutdown Order

Throngs of people waited for as long as three hours in an Owosso downpour to see Karl Manke, a local 77-year-old barber, speak on Monday afternoon.

Manke has gained celebrity status and a certain amount of notoriety for his refusal to adhere to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown of what are deemed non-essential businesses. Manke’s barbershop falls under that rubric as defined by the governor’s executive orders.

Read More

Data Shows Michigan Residents Are Defying Gov. Whitmer’s Stay-at-Home Orders

Michigan residents went out more last week, according to cell phone data reported by The New York Times, even as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to push her stay-at-home executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Approximately one million more people began to move around the state between May 1 and MAy 8, to move around the state again, The NYT reported.

Read More

Commentary: Postcards from the Pandemic Show Good Faith Frays

At the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the public was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the appropriate medical, public health, and government authorities. The public trusted these pandemic policymakers would use solid scientific evidence as the basis to implement the reasonable measures needed to “flatten the curve” and protect the public health.

Read More

Ohio Congressional Candidate Calls Michiganders Who Protested Against Gretchen Whitmer ‘Bad People’

While Michiganders protested on Thursday the authoritarian like measures Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, a person trying to unseat Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) had harsh things to say about them.

Shannon Freshour, a progressive who is competing against two other Democrats for the party’s nomination, tweeted her true feelings about the protesters.

“Republicans everywhere want people to die while claiming to be pro-life,” Freshour said. “Also um gridlock would be an effective tool if there was traffic but y’all only blocking yourselves and your fellow hate-mongering, confederate supporting traitors.”

Read More

Whitmer Orders All Bars, Restaurants, Theaters and More to Close

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a sweeping executive order Monday that orders the closure of several public places in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the executive order, the following places of public accommodation were required to close: restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos.

Read More

Senate Republicans Block ‘Gun-Grabber’ from Leading Michigan’s Natural Resources Commission

The Michigan Senate voted to reject Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appointment of former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell to lead the Natural Resources Commission last week.

Read More

Gov. Whitmer Will Deliver Dem Response to State of the Union from Daughters’ Public School

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address from East Lansing High School, where her two daughters attend school.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced in January that Whitmer would deliver the Democratic response to the annual address, which is scheduled for Tuesday night.

Read More

Michigan Group Gives $300,000 to Organizations Providing Refugees with Legal Services

A Michigan group announced last week that it has awarded $300,000 to nine local organizations “working to address the needs of immigrants and refugees,” including legal services and healthcare.

Read More

Pelosi and Schumer Tap Gretchen Whitmer to Deliver Dem Response to Trump’s State of the Union

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced Friday that they have selected Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to deliver the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

Read More

Michigan Bill to Make Public All Executive Branch Salaries Clears First Hurdle

  A Michigan bill that would require every executive branch department and division to post the salary and benefit information of their employees unanimously cleared its first hurdle Thursday. House Bill 5015 easily cleared the House Oversight Committee and is now on its way to the House Ways and Means…

Read More

Michigan Governor Compares Tackling ‘Hate Speech’ to Fighting in World War II in Letter to Zuckerberg

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer compared fighting “hate speech” to Detroit’s industrial efforts during World War II in a letter sent to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg this week.

Read More

Whitmer Task Force Recommends Sweeping Changes to Criminal Justice System, Including Three-Year Probation Cap

A Michigan task force established by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has recommended a number of sweeping changes to the state’s criminal justice system, including lowering probation terms and reclassifying most traffic offenses as civil infractions.

Read More

Whitmer Approval Rating Drops, James in Dead Heat with Peters in New Michigan Poll

A new survey of Michigan voters found that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s approval rating has dropped by more than seven percentage points since June.

Read More