LANSING, Mich. — Speaker of the Michigan House Lee Chatfield sent a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday, saying several changes need to be made before it is too late.
"With thousands of Michigan families suffering, unemployment skyrocketing and uncertainty in every county, we know that government can do better, and the people of our state deserve that," he said.
Whitmer has received national attention after strengthening and extending her stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the letter, Chatfield recommended three key changes, saying Whitmer's "one-size-fits-all approach" is outdated. He said Michigan is a national outlier with the virus response and changes are in order to realign Michigan with the rest of the states.
The three changes he recommended are:
Amend the current executive order (EO-42) to adopt the most updated federal CISA guidance for essential services: Chatfield said making this change can allow essential services like lawn care, garden products, construction, and other health services like optometry and chiropractic care to continue.
Alter the “essential vs. non-essential” stay-at-home order to instead define “safe vs. unsafe” activities: Chatfield said some of the activities and jobs deemed "unessential" in Whitmer's order can still be done safely and productively with proper social distancing measure.
Adopt a regional, risk-based scientific and medical approach to any future stay-at-home restrictions: Chatfield said the state should regionalize the stay-at-home order based on each region's medical preparedness, per-capita positive case ratios, tests administrated, immunity rates, and track and trace methodologies.
Chatfield said the Legislature has seen an increase in callers from Michiganders who are scared and hurting.
He said House Republicans will soon be sending a more comprehensive plan to Whitmer.