September 4, 2020
Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced the reopening of indoor gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, sports facilities, exercise facilities and studios by signing Executive Order (E.O.) 176. The Governor’s actions comes on the heels of a letter sent by Michigan Chamber President and CEO, Rich Studley and other business group leaders strongly urging Governor Whitmer reopen more of the State’s economy. While we are glad the Governor heard our pleas for further reopening, the action taken is too little too late.
E.O. 176 did not allow for the reopening of movie theaters, amusement parks, arcades, bingo halls, indoor climbing facilities, indoor dance areas, water parks and carnival rides, which all have been financially devastated by forced closures. Bowling centers, roller rinks and ice rinks can only open “for the sole purpose of serving as a venue for organized sports,” according to the order.
E.O. 175, also signed by the Governor today, outlines strict workplace safety measures that the businesses now allowed to reopen under E.O 176 must comply with.
For the past seven months, the Michigan Chamber has been championing the message that we can protect lives and livelihoods during COVID-19 by following safe guidelines and practices. Yet the governor continues to believe Michiganders are incapable of taking on that responsibility. Only a few hours after the announcement pertaining to more businesses reopening, the Governor announced an extension of her emergency powers for another month. The point where Michigan needs command and control decisions that emergency powers allow has long past. Having unilateral control of state government and arbitrarily deciding which businesses can survive and which are permanently closed for this long is wrong.
Governor Whitmer has now issued 176 executive orders that are capricious, difficult to interpret and often lack basic common sense.
The Michigan Chamber will continue to be a powerful advocate for our members and fight aggressively on their behalf by pursuing our COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Agenda, demanding answers to irregularities and holding elected officials accountable.
For information on E.O. 175 or E.O. 176, please contact Dan Papineau at firstname.lastname@example.org