Michigan GOP, restaurant lobby waffle on own bill to close indoor dining, realizing it would apply now

April 08, 2021, 9:46 PM

Two weeks ago, Michigan GOP senators passed a bill they hammered out with help from the state's restaurant lobby to shut indoor dining in the event of a surge in positivity rates and hospitalizations, saying clearer benchmarks were needed so restaurants could prepare.

Now that surge is here, but you'd be hard pressed to hear the bill's backers say they support a closure, especially as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she plans to avoid further restrictions with vaccinations well underway. 

They were asked for their stances by the Free Press

Justin Winslow, president and CEO of the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association ... noted a proposal offered by the association is slightly different than the language of the bill and would likely not mandate closing indoor dining right now.

State Sen. Aric Nesbitt, R-Lawton, was one of the cosponsors of the bill. He did not answer questions about whether he still supports the bill and its restrictions, instead attacking the governor and the media.

"It would be nice if the media was able to get answers from the governor on how she decides what is open and what is closed, but the media is too busy being a spokesperson for the Democratic Party."

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey's spokeswoman said he still suported the bill, but added: "We can debate the particulars — if they should be adjusted."

The measure states that if Michigan, "has a test positivity rate of greater than 15% to not more than 20% for not less than 7 consecutive days or if 15% to not more than 20% of hospital beds in this state are being used to treat individuals with coronavirus for not less than 7 consecutive days, (a state) emergency order must close the qualified establishment to indoor dining and limit the occupancy of a meeting or event held at the qualified establishment to a maximum of 10 individuals from not more than 2 households."

Read more:  Detroit Free Press

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