LaSata: Governor’s ‘safe start’ proposal lacks transparency, ignores public voice

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Kim LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township, said in the following statement released Thursday that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent “safe start” proposal to partially reopen the state’s economy lacks the transparency and public input seen in neighboring states:

“Despite claims to the contrary, Gov. Whitmer does not appear to be working closely with anyone in her continued go-it-alone approach to dealing with the coronavirus.

“She previously said she would be working with other Midwest governors, including the governors of Indiana and Ohio, on reopening the economy on a regional basis. Yet I have not seen any evidence of this to date, including in her latest proposal. For example, Indiana provides a clear roadmap for businesses to reopen, with restrictions and possible start dates listed for each phase. In Ohio, the state established eight advisory groups for specific business sectors to help inform decisions and develop best practices. The advisory groups are posted publicly online and include member names and organizations.

“Gov. Whitmer’s ‘safe start’ proposal, on the other hand, only made vague references to working groups advising the state on best practices for reopening various sectors of the economy. Unlike our friends to the south, her proposal doesn’t clearly state how many working groups there are, who is a part of them, whether the public has a voice, or when the best practices will be announced.

“Michigan, and our district, has no shortage of smart, experienced residents with very thoughtful proposals about how to reopen safely, and I have heard from many of them. The people want their voices heard. Yet just as the governor has ignored attempts by the Legislature to help, it appears she is also ignoring the voice of the people she works for.

“The people don’t work for the governor — she works for them. We are all in this together, and it is time the governor listens to the people she represents, is attentive to their needs, is transparent about what she is doing, and works with us as one Michigan to overcome this current challenge we are all facing.”