Whitmer Signs Bill Extending Unemployment into Law

Unemployed Michiganders can get an extra six weeks of benefits under a bipartisan bill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law Tuesday.

Whitmer signed Senate Bills 886 and 991 codifying part of her now-void executive orders expanding unemployment benefits to Michiganders from 20 to 26 weeks until the end of the year.

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State Agency Issue New Workplace Orders, Mirroring Whitmer’s Now-Void Orders

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has issued new emergency orders for many businesses.

MIOSHA, within the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, promulgates rules clarifying the safety requirements for employers.

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Judge Finds Cases Against Five in Whitmer Plot Can Move Forward

Prosecutors provided enough evidence to move toward trial for five Michigan men accused of plotting to kidnap the state’s governor, a federal judge ruled Friday in Grand Rapids.

A two-day preliminary hearing this week featured testimony by one of the FBI agents who ran the investigation, relying on confidential informants and undercover agents to thwart the purported scheme to abduct Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

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Another Suspect Charged in Alleged Michigan Kidnap Plot

Michigan’s attorney general charged an eighth person Thursday in what authorities have described as a foiled scheme to storm the state Capitol building and kidnap officials, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Brian Higgins, 51, of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, was charged with material support of an act of terrorism, Attorney General Dana Nessel said. If convicted, Higgins could get up to 20 years in prison.

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Michigan Governor Blames Trump After 13 Charged in Kidnap Plot

Agents foiled a stunning plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, authorities said Thursday in announcing charges in an alleged scheme that involved months of planning and even rehearsals to snatch her from her vacation home.

Six men were charged in federal court with conspiring to kidnap the governor in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power,” according to a federal complaint. Separately, seven others were charged in state court under Michigan’s anti-terrorism laws for allegedly targeting police and seeking a “civil war.”

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Trump, Whitmer Spar on Twitter Over Michigan Supreme Court Ruling

President Trump on Wednesday praised the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers, calling it a “big win” for the state.

The Michigan Supreme Court on Friday struck down Whitmer’s emergency ruling, saying the governor had issued her numerous executive orders pertaining to coronavirus restrictions unconstitutionally, rendering them null.

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Whitmer Backtracks on COVID-19 Nursing Home Policy

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Wednesday evening signed Executive Order 2020-191, tweaking long-term care rules and applying some recommendations from the Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force.

The order evolves from Whitmer’s old long-term care strategy of 21 Regional Hubs to a “second generation” of care called Care and Recovery Centers (CRC) dedicated to isolating COVID-19 residents.

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Phill Kline Commentary: Don’t Let Gov. Whitmer Turn Michigan into a Banana Republic

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is feigning benevolence by “granting” a right to citizens that they already had. That’s not generosity; it’s just a cynical attempt to protect her own public image.

One Nation, a group inspired by black urban pastors that rejects the divisive rhetoric of BLM, sought to gather in person and engage in political speech leading up to this election. Governor Whitmer threatened the leaders of the group with jail if any more than 10 persons gathered inside, despite the large size of the room. Meanwhile, the governor marched with BLM in defiance of her own executive orders.

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Meshawn Maddock Commentary: Don’t Let Joe Biden Give the Whole Country a Taste of Whitmer’s Bitter Authoritarian Medicine

Workers and business owners across the state are still waiting to learn what fate Governor Gretchen Whitmer has in store for them.

Of course, businesses that wield political clout and make significant contributions to Whitmer’s budget — say, a crowded Detroit casino — have no such uncertainty to worry about. They’re allowed to open.

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Battleground Michigan: Lawsuits Challenge State’s Coronavirus Restrictions, Ballot Rules

A pair of lawsuits filed against top-ranking state executives in Michigan seek to challenge the recent policies the two Democrats have put in place as part of their efforts to mitigate the coronavirus outbreak there.

The suits, filed by the Thomas More Society on behalf of several Michigan plaintiffs, argue that Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson have, respectively, suppressed political speech and unlawfully altered the state’s absentee voting system, according to a press release from the Thomas More Society.

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District Court Blocks Betsy DeVos COVID Rule on Private School Funds

A judge blocked an Education Secretary Betsy DeVos policy on Wednesday that transfers COVID-19 relief funds from public school districts to private schools, Politico reported.

U.S. District Judge James Donato of the U.S. District Court Northern District of California granted a preliminary injunction for the plaintiffs, order Thursday, blocking release of additional relief funding to private schools.

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Business Leaders Call on Whitmer to Reopen Bowling Alleys, Gyms, and Movie Theaters

Four business groups sent Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a letter asking to reopen industries that have been closed for five months, although they’re open in certain parts of Michigan and surrounding states.

After five months with no revenue and continued fixed costs, some gyms, movie theaters and bowling alleys are on the brink of bankruptcy.

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Whitmer Vetoes Bill Seeking to Give Health Care Workers Immunity During COVID-19 Pandemic

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed Senate Bill 899, a bill intended to shield health care workers from liability during a state of emergency.

The immunity granted to health care workers and facilities would have stretched from March 10, 2020, to Jan. 1, 2021, as the state battles COVID-19.

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AP Sources: Whitmer Met with Biden as He Nears VP Decision

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer traveled to Delaware last weekend to meet with Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee’s first known in-person session with a potential running mate as he nears a decision.

Whitmer visited Biden Sunday, according to two high-ranking Michigan Democrats who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. The first-term governor of the battleground state has long been on his short list of possible running mates.

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Joe Biden Tells Fox News That He Has Chosen a VP, Campaign Quickly Denies It and Says He Was Joking Around

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told Fox News that he had chosen a vice presidential candidate; however, Biden’s campaign denied he had selected a running mate.

While riding his bike Saturday morning, Fox News asked Biden if he decided on a vice presidential nominee. The former vice president jokingly said he had chosen a person and told Fox News reporter Peter Doocy that it was “you” he had decided upon.

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Gov. Whitmer Vetoes Bill Designed to Protect Nursing Home Residents

Gov. Whitmer on Friday vetoed Senate Bill 956, legislation that would have prohibited the admission of COVID-19 patients into nursing homes.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby, and was passed by the Senate on June 24. The bill was approved by the state House of Representatives on July 22.

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Commentary: Michigan Is Already on Its Way to Full Economic Recovery

With the “v-shaped” economic recovery taking shape nationwide, Michigan has begun to bounce back from the artificial coronavirus downturn sooner than most of us dared to hope. 

Despite Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s excessively harsh stay-at-home orders, Michigan regained more than 460,000 nonfarm jobs since the start of May, reducing the unemployment rate by almost a whopping 10 percentage points. Blue collar industries that provide the lifeblood for Michigan’s middle class, such as construction and manufacturing, are doing particularly well — those two sectors alone created more than 180,000 new jobs in May, no doubt fueled in part by the President’s focus on ramping up domestic production of medical supplies needed to confront the invisible enemy.

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Michigan House Passes Bill Prohibiting Sending COVID-19 Patients to Nursing Homes

The Michigan House approved a bill with the stated purpose of better protecting Michigan’s nursing home population from COVID-19.

Senate Bill 956 seeks to prohibit the admission of COVID-19 patients into nursing homes.

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Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Cuts $115 Million from State Police Budget

Gretchen Whitmer (D-Mich.), the radical governor of Michigan who has come under overwhelming criticism for her excessive coronavirus lockdowns, has cut as much as $115 million from the budget for the Michigan State Police, as reported by Breitbart.

Whitmer made the budget cuts through Executive Order 2020-155, demanding that $115.07 million be taken from the state police budget, in addition to a slash of $392.67 million from Michigan’s Department of Corrections, and another $36.46 cut from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

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Gov. Whitmer Mandates Masks Indoors with $500 Fine; Retail Group Says Rule ‘Impossible’ to Enforce

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-147, requiring Michiganders to wear a mask when in an indoor public space starting at 12:01 a.m. Monday.

The order also requires residents to wear a mask in crowded outdoor spaces and mandates any business open to the public to refuse entry or service to those without a mask, with some exceptions.

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Appeals Court Orders Most Michigan Gyms Closed

Hours before Michigan’s indoor fitness centers were allowed to open for the first time in months, a Sixth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel told the gyms to keep their doors shut.

A three-judge panel issued an emergency stay sought by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, freezing the preliminary injunction from U.S. District Judge Paul Maloney that would have allowed gyms to open at 12:01 am Thursday.

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U.S Republicans Ask Nessel to Investigate Whitmer’s COVID-19 Policy; Whitmer Creates Nursing Home Task Force

Congressional Republicans intensified their questioning of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Members of the U.S. House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent a letter asking Attorney General Dana Nessel to investigate the impact of Whitmer’s executive orders that placed COVID-19 patients into the same buildings, but different units, as elderly nursing home residents.

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Michigan Unemployment Claims Continue Upward Trend

More than 28,500 Michigan workers joined the ranks of the unemployed in the week ending June 6, bringing the total number of state residents filing unemployment claims to 870,772 since restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Michigan unemployment claims are among the highest in the nation.

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House Republicans Ask Whitmer to Rescind COVID-19 Nursing Home Policy

House Republicans on Monday asked Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to rescind her policy that requires recovering COVID-19 patients to be placed in isolated parts of designated nursing homes.

“Nursing homes have the very frailest of our population,” Rep. Kathy Crawford, R-Novi, told The Center Square. “Very many of them are bedridden. Nursing homes don’t have enough staff to take care of the daily needs of people who are in nursing homes.”

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Michigan Had 17 of 25 Counties with Highest Unemployment Nationally in April

Michigan was home to 17 of the 25 counties with the highest unemployment numbers in the nation in April.

According to a database from Lansing State Journal, Cheboygan County led the nation in unemployment with a 41.2 percent unemployment rate. Second in the nation was Mackinac County at 38.1 percent.

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Despite Drop in New Claims, Michigan Unemployment Ninth Highest in Nation

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer allows more sectors of the economy to open, Michigan unemployment claims dropped to 956,418 in the week ending May 30, compared to 985,294 claims the prior week ending May 23.

Those numbers are the lowest unemployment figures in Michigan since the beginning of measures to contain the coronavirus were initiated in late March.

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DOJ Backs Michigan Businesses Against Whitmer’s ‘Arbitrary and Irrational’ Restrictions

The Department of Justice filed a statement of interest Friday challenging Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “arbitrary and irrational” restrictions on her state’s businesses.

The move came as part of Attorney General William Barr’s efforts to ensure that civil liberties are protected during the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in a press release. The statement of interest supports a lawsuit filed by seven Michigan businesses challenging Whitmer’s restrictions.

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New Email Shows Gretchen Whitmer’s Office Gave the ‘Green Light’ to Award Coronavirus Contract to Democratic Firms

Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer distanced herself from a much-criticized decision to award a no-bid contract to two Democratic firms to handle the state’s coronavirus contact tracing.

But a senior adviser in the Michigan Department of the Health and Human Services said that the executive office of the governor [EOG] gave the contract a “green light,” a newly public email shows.

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Business Leader Erik Kiilunen Is Fighting to Reopen Michigan

After Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued executive orders forcing the closure of many of the state’s businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic, small-businessman Erik Kiilunen said he saw $600,000 in contracts disappear overnight.

Kiilunen, of Ahmeek, Michigan, runs Kiilunen Manufacturing Group, which makes construction materials.

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Owosso Barber Granted Legal Reprieve from Governor’s Lockdown Order

The ongoing saga of Owosso barber Karl Manke’s battle against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to shutter businesses during the coronavirus pandemic turned another page on Thursday.

Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew J. Stewart determined state attorneys failed to convince him Manke’s refusal to comply with the governor’s order posed an imminent threat to the public. As a result, Manke’s shop on Owosso’s Main Street will remain open and the 77-year-old barber will be cutting hair for the foreseeable future.

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Lawmaker Requests Investigation into COVID-19 Order for Long-Term Care Facilities, State to Provide More Data This Month

A Michigan lawmaker has requested an investigation into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-84, which forces some nursing homes below an 80 percent capacity to create a unit dedicated to caring for residents with COVID-19.

That order expires after Wednesday.

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Owosso Barber Draws Support After License Suspended for Violating Gov. Whitmer’s Shutdown Order

Throngs of people waited for as long as three hours in an Owosso downpour to see Karl Manke, a local 77-year-old barber, speak on Monday afternoon.

Manke has gained celebrity status and a certain amount of notoriety for his refusal to adhere to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown of what are deemed non-essential businesses. Manke’s barbershop falls under that rubric as defined by the governor’s executive orders.

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Michigan Protesters Battle Rain Downpour to Decry Stay-Home Order

About 250 protesters braved a downpour of rain Thursday to object to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders on the Capitol lawn. 

Protesters clad in rain gear brought signs wrapped in plastic to share their displeasure with the first-term Democrat’s response to COVID-19.

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Data Shows Michigan Residents Are Defying Gov. Whitmer’s Stay-at-Home Orders

Michigan residents went out more last week, according to cell phone data reported by The New York Times, even as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to push her stay-at-home executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Approximately one million more people began to move around the state between May 1 and MAy 8, to move around the state again, The NYT reported.

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Commentary: Postcards from the Pandemic Show Good Faith Frays

At the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic, the public was willing to give the benefit of the doubt to the appropriate medical, public health, and government authorities. The public trusted these pandemic policymakers would use solid scientific evidence as the basis to implement the reasonable measures needed to “flatten the curve” and protect the public health.

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Ohio Congressional Candidate Calls Michiganders Who Protested Against Gretchen Whitmer ‘Bad People’

While Michiganders protested on Thursday the authoritarian like measures Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has implemented during the coronavirus pandemic, a person trying to unseat Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-04) had harsh things to say about them.

Shannon Freshour, a progressive who is competing against two other Democrats for the party’s nomination, tweeted her true feelings about the protesters.

“Republicans everywhere want people to die while claiming to be pro-life,” Freshour said. “Also um gridlock would be an effective tool if there was traffic but y’all only blocking yourselves and your fellow hate-mongering, confederate supporting traitors.”

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Whitmer Orders All Bars, Restaurants, Theaters and More to Close

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a sweeping executive order Monday that orders the closure of several public places in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the executive order, the following places of public accommodation were required to close: restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos.

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