Theis reacts to Whitmer administration extension of COVID-19 restrictions

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, issued the following statement Friday after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced an extension of her administration’s “Pause to Save Lives” shutdown of Michigan restaurants through Friday, Jan. 15:

“I am greatly disappointed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her administration extended the shutdown of restaurants’ indoor dining, completely devastating small businesses and communities. Livelihoods are being destroyed by these broad and punitive orders during the holidays. Small businesses throughout Livingston and Washtenaw counties are barely hanging on, especially our restaurants.

“Business owners and their employees are willing to follow through with increased safety protocols recommended by medical experts. And now, many locally owned restaurants and other businesses will not be able to survive this extended shutdown — even though only 4% of cases can been traced back to restaurants.

“Although overcoming emergencies takes teamwork, the governor continues to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling and go it alone. That is why I sponsored Senate Bill 1253, which was passed by my colleagues from the Senate and the House, to restrict the number of days the governor can issue public health orders through the MDHHS to 28 days. This is not a power grab, but it restores the balance of power and is the best way to allow the governor, Legislature, health care experts and business owners to work together on solutions.

“While this new order is good for high school students, a few entertainment businesses, and large corporate box stores and chains, it’s devastating to the small, family-run local businesses that have been in the community for generations and are least able to weather this governor-created storm.”