LANSING, Mich. — The state Legislature voted Tuesday 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.
“We cannot seriously address the need to reopen the state until we start following the latest federal guidelines,” said Sen. Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway Township. “There we will find updated safety procedures for different industries and a path forward for allowing workers in construction and other fields to return to work, as they have done in so many other states.”
In mid-March the federal government outlined standards for essential workers. 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 the governor 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 relaxed those restrictions and deemed it safe for health care providers to resume elective procedures.
“With the proper precautions, doctors, nurses and other health care workers can safely provide many necessary procedures, and they should be allowed to do so,” Lauwers said. “The governor is unnecessarily causing undue pain and hardship for thousands of Michiganders.”