Senate Republicans have 5-step plan to jumpstart Michigan’s economy

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The Republican Senate caucus presented Gov. Gretchen Whitmer with a five-phase plan to revive Michigan’s economy.

“The Senate Republican Caucus believes it is our responsibility to provide a framework for Michiganders to live their lives in the presence of COVID-19, in safety,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R -Clarklake. “Michigan remains an exception among states with strict rules. home orders.

The first phase of the plan calls on companies that can maintain social distancing and provide personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves for its employees, to be able to operate now, even as the number of cases and deaths from the coronavirus is increasing. He calls on residents to wear masks while performing essential tasks, such as shopping for groceries and collecting prescriptions.

Following: How a Michigan Senate task force would get people back to work amid coronavirus crisis

Following: Governor Whitmer to work with Midwestern governors on reopening the economy

The other four phases:

  • Phase 2 would occur when the number of cases and deaths drops for five out of seven days and health systems are below 75% of their capacity. Businesses closed to the public could operate with appropriate precautions such as social distancing. Those that are open to the public, such as garden centers, might operate with extreme social distancing, such as limiting the number of people in the store and making sure aisles are marked so people stay at least six feet away from each other. others. Outdoor recreational activities, such as golf, may resume as long as proper social distancing is practiced. Vulnerable people, due to their age and state of health, would continue to stay in their homes and large gatherings would still be prohibited.
  • Phase 3 would begin when cases and deaths fall for 17 out of 21 days and hospitals are below 50% of capacity. Already open businesses would continue to operate with social distancing. Bars and restaurants could open, but would be limited to 50% of their capacity with groups spaced six feet apart. Large gatherings of 100 people or less would be permitted. Vulnerable people would continue to follow the stay-at-home order.
  • Phase 4 would begin when cases and deaths fall for 19 out of 21 days and hospitals are below 33% of capacity. Social enterprises, such as gyms, nail and hair salons, and cinemas, could reopen and bars and restaurants could operate at full capacity. Gatherings of less than 250 people would be allowed. Home stay orders would be lifted for vulnerable people. Mask and social distancing limitations would be removed.
  • Phase 5 would occur when no active spread of the coronavirus has been reported for 30 days or a vaccine has been available for 30 days. All remaining trade restrictions and restrictions on large gatherings, including festivals, concerts and sporting events, would be removed.

The Republican plan also says parts of the state that haven’t had as many coronavirus cases should be able to open up faster.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich D-Flint called the GOP plan a misstep on a particularly deadly day.

“The day Michigan hit 2,000 dead, Senate Republicans released a haphazard plan that has no input from the frontline workers who save lives every day,” he said. “I said from the start that we are going to overcome this. Together. The idea of ​​a man is not a plan.

The GOP report overshadows the work done by a task force, appointed by Shirkey last week, which was due to submit the first phase of its proposal to Shirkey on Friday.

The bipartisan task force had worked out a broader plan in its first week on the job, but is also reaching out to business owners and workers, through a website – – to see how they can start again. operate while keeping employees and customers safe. This contribution will be incorporated into a final report which is submitted to Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Senator Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, a member of the bipartisan task force, called the GOP plan “ridiculous” on Twitter.

“I am part of the bipartisan task force. We have had productive conversations and are moving towards consensus on safe workplace practices, bringing in public health experts. Now the Senate GOP is releasing its own plan? What happened to bipartisanship? “she tweeted.

Shirkey said he hopes the bipartisan task force will incorporate work done by the GOP caucus.

The GOP plan comes a day after thousands converged on Lansing to protest Whitmer’s second stay-at-home order, which has shut down much of the state’s businesses and forces people to stay home to try to stop the spread of the coronavirus until May 1.

Republicans have particularly criticized the tightening of restrictions in the order, which also prohibits visits between households, and is more forceful about businesses that must remain closed, including garden centers and nurseries, as well as landscaping companies landscaped.

Whitmer said she was just as eager to revive Michigan’s economy, but added those decisions won’t happen until health data on the coronavirus supports such a start.

“Re-engaging our state too soon and too quickly will lead to a second wave of coronavirus. And as difficult as it is, we know we don’t want to relive this again,” she said on Wednesday. “Getting it right saves lives and will be better for the economy in the long run. “

Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, [email protected] or on Twitter @michpoligal.