Whitmer, Legislature Work Toward Lame Duck COVID-19 Solutions
Governor Gretchen Whitmer addressed the state Thursday afternoon with a COVID-19 update.
Her main focus was the first complete report by the Racial Task Force on the impact the virus has on minorities.
You can find that report below but there was also more talk about passing laws to help Michiganders in lame duck session.
There are times when lame duck session can get pretty contentious, where lawmakers are really fighting for some controversial bills that they want pushed through quickly, but it seems like right now lawmakers are focusing on COVID, it just matters what those bills are going to look like.
“There is great great hope on the horizon,” said Gov. Whitmer.
The vaccine is coming. The numbers are plateauing but as the state’s ‘Three Week Pause’ reaches its scheduled conclusion, the state’s economy is hurting.
“We are continuing to pursue ways to help businesses that are a part of this pause,” said Whitmer.
That’s where the legislature comes in. Just over two more weeks to pass COVID-19 bills before a new legislature comes in and starts over.
“We have to deal with COVID,” said Senator Jim Ananich of Flint, “In order to get our economy back moving.”
“She’s got her asks, she knows our asks,” said Senator Curt VanderWall of Ludington, “There’s going to be a middle ground that we will all come to an agreement on.”
Whitmer’s asks include a mask mandate, extended unemployment benefits made permanent and $100 million in stimulus money, aimed at businesses and struggling Michiganders.
“I think it’s critical that we need to make sure that we help the employee and help the employer,” said Ananich, “And make sure that small businesses can weather the storm.”
The weight of COVID may yet again change how things are traditionally done in Lansing.
“I continue to see it be kind of a soft lame duck,” said VanderWall, “We’re going to get some really good things done but any of the real controversial stuff, I think is going to get pushed to the side.”
The house came into session Thursday to take roll but then didn’t take any more action before leaving for the week. Next week both chambers will be returning with just two weeks left to go in the year.