LANSING, Mich. — The state Legislature Tuesday morning voted to approve two resolutions that encourage Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to adopt the updated federal guidelines for essential workers and begin getting Michiganders safely back to work.
“The federal guidelines outline changes, include updated safety procedures for different industries and provide a road map for businesses to begin safely returning to work,” said Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “Workers in construction and other fields are being allowed to return to work in our neighboring states so long as proper safety measures are followed, but they remain unable to work here in Michigan.”
In mid-March the federal government outlined standards for essential workers. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer subsequently adopted the recommended guidelines for essential workers in Michigan. As new information and research were made available, the federal government issued amended guidelines on two separate occasions: the first set of changes came on March 28 and the most recent on April 17.
Senate Resolution 112 calls on the governor to join other states in adopting the most recent federal guidelines for which employees are “essential,” which would allow more workers to return to work who can safely do so.
The Senate also approved SR 111 urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to revise Executive Order 2020-17 and allow hospitals and health care facilities to resume elective procedures.
The executive order, which took effect March 21, required hospitals, freestanding surgical outpatient facilities, dental facilities, and all state-operated outpatient facilities to postpone all nonessential procedures. More than 12 states with similar executive restrictions have since dialed back those restrictions and deemed it safe for health care providers to resume elective procedures.
“Michigan residents have had their health care put on hold while doctors attempt to determine what procedures are allowed under the governor’s ambiguous order,” Bumstead said. “Prohibiting hospitals and doctors from safely performing certain procedures has crippled the finances of the very health care providers who have been on the front lines of our battle against COVID-19. We need to get the hospital employees who have been laid off back to work and allow Michiganders to receive the care they need.”
Bumstead voted in favor of both resolutions, stating that we need to follow the example of other states.
“These critical infrastructure guidelines have been adopted by many of our neighboring states, and more than 12 states have resumed medical procedures and surgeries. Our construction and hospital workers are familiar with safety equipment and should be trusted to jumpstart Michigan’s economy,” Bumstead said. “My colleagues and I will continue working with other industries as they prove they operate without posing any danger to employees or patrons.”