The Senate and House met yesterday to extend the Governors’ emergency powers for 23 days with a resolution. Each of the legislators was checked by medical personnel before they were allowed into the chambers to check in. This does not extend the Stay home Stay safe order, this just give the Governor emergency powers until April 30th. We should expect her to extend her order at some time soon. The Senate has put together a workgroup on which professions could restart safely. Here is an excerpt from MIRS news:
Senate Looking Into Which Professions Could Restart Safely
The Senate is pulling together a workgroup to look into how certain professions can be allowed to come back online safely during the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to craft recommendations for the Governor by April 17.
Senate Majority Leader Mike SHIRKEY (R-Clarklake) said in a tele-press conference today there are real-life examples and good evidence to show some businesses can operate “as safely as you can at home.” He said Senators and staff have already collected many such examples and by consulting with medical professionals, they hope to find where businesses can return to work safely.
He called it a spectrum. A lawn mowing professional might work without interacting with anybody, so is not at a high risk.
“On the other end of the spectrum is conducting a rock concert at Ford Field, which would be way down the road of being able to provide assurances of safety for that kind of activity. We are talking about finding that transition in the middle between those two,” Shirkey explained.
Sen. Ken HORN (R-Frankenmuth) will chair the “Safe Behavior for Safe Workplaces” workgroup. Sen. Curt VANDERWALL (R-Ludington), Sen. Wayne SCHMIDT (R-Traverse City), Sen. Jeremy MOSS (D-Southfield), Sen. Sylvia SANTANA (D-Detroit) and Sen. Stephanie CHANG (D-Detroit) will round out the workgroup.
“Businesses across the state will be feeling the negative effects of the mandatory closures for months to come,” Horn said. “As soon as we can safely do so, we need to get people back to work and get our economy back on track.
I have reached out to two of the members so far and they are keenly aware of the garden center and greenhouse issue. Senator VanderWall told me he is calling the Governors’ office every other day to advocate for the industry. Senator Schmidt stated he has heard from the industry “Loud and clear”. I would expect that any recommendations will include some type of allowance for plant sales such as curbside or delivery for the industry. If your operation is in the Detroit or Southfield area, it may be good to reach out to Senators Moss, Santana or Chang encouraging them to support some type of sales ability for the industry. Please thank them for their attention to the greenhouse / garden center industry and ask for their help.
There have been a lot of rumors and questions going around the state and I have been working to run down the answers to each of them. It seems that different areas of the state are enforcing things differently and we need to continue advocating for retail sales of our products with the administration. Hopefully the Senate workgroup will get the Governors attention to have some common sense alternatives to the complete shutdown we are now facing.
If you are having trouble with the Payroll Protection Program, don’t give up. sbam.org has in depth help with the sign up as well as mipaychecprotection.com . This could be a lifeline for your business during this difficult time.