Rep. Cole: Governor wrong to put more restrictions on struggling families, job providers

Categories: Cole News,News

Common-sense adjustments needed so people can return to work safely

State Rep. Triston Cole today said the governor moved in the wrong direction when she put even more restrictions on people and businesses while extending her stay-at-home order through April 30.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered that stores no longer sell what she considers non-essential items and block off those areas so customers cannot access them. The governor also said she will not follow the guidelines issued by the federal government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency that would allow more Michiganders to safely return to work while following social distancing guidelines.

Cole, of Mancelona, agrees it is important for people to continue social distancing to stop the spread of COVID-19, but said the governor should focus on making common-sense adjustments to allow workers who can safely do their jobs to support their families.

“Rather than having a debate about which jobs are ‘essential’ or ‘non-essential’ we should be focused on determining which jobs can be performed safely,” Cole said. “The fact is, all jobs are essential when you’re worried about putting food on the table for your family. I’m worried the governor’s latest decision will put even more people out of work at a time when the unemployment benefits website and call center are already overloaded.”

This morning, Cole sent a second letter to the governor asking her to make common-sense adjustments that would allow workers in the construction, lawn care, greenhouse and recreation industries to do their jobs safely.

“Single-family new construction projects, remodels, pole barn/garages, landscaping, dock work, marinas, golf courses, home sales, auto sales, lawn maintenance, delivery of materials, and countless other jobs and occupations can be completed with very limited social interaction and without jeopardizing public safety,” Cole wrote.

Additionally, he urged the governor to consider modifying her orders based on region rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

“Protecting the health of our residents must always be our top concern, and I understand why we had to take statewide precautions to slow the spread of this virus as this crisis began,” Cole said. “As more time has passed, data clearly shows this virus is far more concentrated in Metro Detroit than it is in Northern Michigan. At this point, it’s hard to see why all areas of the state must be treated the same. It’s time to start making a plan that will help communities located far from the epicenter return to normal as quickly as possible.”

Rep. Cole and his staff are working remotely, so they can continue to serve residents during the COVID-19 outbreak. People with questions or concerns can reach his office by calling (517) 373-0829 or emailing TristonCole@house.mi.gov.

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