Republican state lawmakers don’t seem willing to back Michigan governor’s request for bipartisan mask law

Republican state representative says issue has been politicized

Republican state lawmakers don't appear willing to back governor's mask goal.

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is still looking to the Republican-controlled legislature to help strengthen safety measures in response to rise in COVID-19 cases.

Whitmer is requesting the Legislature to enact a state law that would require mask wearing -- however, it is unknown if one is coming.

“We do think that it would be helpful to our health, our safety and our economy if it was codified in a bi-partisan way with the Legislature, and that’s what we asked for," Whitmer said.

Currently, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services have required face masks to be worn in public places under an emergency health order.

READ: Gov. Whitmer asks lawmakers for support as Michigan sets new daily COVID record

READ: University of Michigan urges undergrad students to stay home, take remote classes for winter semester

Whitmer asked for COVID bipartisanship -- something Legislators like Republican State Rep. Steve Johnson of Allegan said the governor didn’t appear interested in until now.

“This entire issue has been politicized from the beginning from the governor,” Johnson said. “We want to make sure that otherwise healthy individuals, that they can go about their lives, they can continue to live a free life, they can continue to prosper. That we’re not taking away their jobs and we’re not unnecessarily hurting the economy. Yet at the same time, we can protect vulnerable individuals."

With COVID-19 case numbers continuing to rise and virus hospitalizations increasing, Whitmer and health officials say a rise in COVID deaths is expected.

READ: COVID-19 spike leads to surge at Michigan hospitals

READ: Khaldun: Models show Michigan could see up to 100 daily COVID-19 deaths ‘at rate we’re going’

About the Author:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.