Zorn: Governor’s regional reopening plan leaves out too many Michigan workers

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to allow more businesses in two northern regions of the state to reopen is a positive step, but it still unfairly restricts millions of Michigan families.

“Over a month ago, I supported a Senate Republican proposal to start allowing more people to return to work in Michigan if it could be done safely and with proper precautions to protect workers and the public,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “While I applaud the governor for listening and finally allowing some more businesses in low-risk areas of the state to reopen, her plan is long overdue, too restrictive and leaves out too many Michigan workers.”

On Monday, Whitmer announced partial reopening plans for businesses in the Upper Peninsula and 17 counties in Northern Michigan. Under the plan, retail stores and offices, restaurants and bars could reopen starting on Friday with capacity limits and safety requirements.

“This is great news for people living and working up north, but it does nothing for families, small businesses and communities in the rest of the state struggling under the governor’s one-size-fits-all lockdown order,” Zorn said. “While Michigan’s coronavirus situation is improving, some areas with high case numbers might need longer to reopen safely. However, there are many places where people can and should be able to safely return to work.

“Many businesses have been devastated by the virus and the governor’s heavy-handed response, and it will needlessly get worse if she doesn’t allow more areas to safely reopen — especially in our border communities where next door in Ohio, businesses are opening safely.”

Zorn pointed to the fact that Gov. Mike DeWine on Friday allowed the reopening of Ohio restaurants and bars with outdoor seating, barbershops, hair and nail salons, spas and certain other personal service businesses. Indoor restaurants, gyms and other businesses are scheduled to reopen later this month.