Bumstead working with restaurant industry on data-driven opening plan legislation

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Jon Bumstead announced Thursday that he has joined with the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association to implement their data-driven plan to open the doors of Michigan’s struggling restaurants and hospitality businesses.

“While I support safely opening up all sectors of Michigan’s economy immediately, the plan developed by the MRLA is a great step to normalizing operations for this industry,” said Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “The numbers are quite clear. The positivity rate has hovered in the low single digits, and I think we should implement their data-driven plan and begin lifting these restrictions.”

The hospitality industry is one of Michigan’s largest and most important but was one of the hardest hit industries by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent shutdowns. Over the past year, MRLA reported 3,000 restaurants have permanently closed and 200,000 jobs have been lost.

Bumstead says the goal is to provide a metric-based and data-driven plan that supports the industry, is transparent, and provides certainty for the restaurant industry moving forward.

“I agree with the governor and DHHS director that using science and data is the best approach. Unfortunately they have not shared what metrics they are utilizing to make decisions, and the numbers we see do not coincide with the restrictions facing the industry,” Bumstead said. “I will be working on specific bill language that includes the major themes of the MRLA plan in order to make this legislation work best for Michigan.”