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Rep. Leutheuser: Legislature ramps up COVID-19 response oversight as governor revises stay-at-home order, with modifications allowing more people to work
RELEASE|April 24, 2020

Rep. Eric Leutheuser of Hillsdale today supported the creation of a new committee within the Michigan Legislature that will ensure accountability and oversight of state government’s response to COVID-19.


The Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic will include a total of 10 members from the House and Senate with bipartisan representation, serving as a conduit to the nearly 10 million people represented by the Legislature across Michigan.


“Never before has our state asked so much of its citizens. It is only right that they have questions … such as when will these orders be lifted? How do we define risk? Why is the reported health data changing? Trust in government must be earned. Ours has been damaged by a lack of transparency. I voted in favor of creation of a bicameral and bipartisan committee to help get these questions answered,” Leutheuser said.


The panel was established the same day Gov. Whitmer extended the state’s ‘stay home’ order to May 15. Leutheuser noted the extended order relaxes some of the governor’s tighter restrictions on some businesses, so Michigan will now be somewhat more in line with restrictions in place in neighboring states. Stores will be able to resume selling items such as paint and flooring, garden centers can reopen, and more curbside pickup options will be available for retailers and their customers. More outdoor activities, such as golf and motorized boating, will be allowed.


“The governor’s order will allow more people in Hillsdale and Branch counties to get back to work so they can support their families, and that is a step in the right direction. In fact, her order includes some suggestions we have been making for quite some time – allowing more people to return to work safely,” Leutheuser said. “While the governor is making an important step here, more aggressive steps should be taken and the state should adopt the latest CISA guidelines and implement a more regional approach. We must move to safely reopen the economy while doing all we can to protect public health.


“That is why the Legislature’s creation of this special committee is so important. It will provide oversight to help ensure Michiganders have a voice in this process. That is the Legislature’s fundamental role and duty to the people it represents.”

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