Lawmakers criticize governor’s veto

‘It is unconscionable for Gov. Whitmer to deny this assistance to so many who are suffering’

LANSING, Mich. — Senators expressed their disappointment Monday with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of bipartisan legislation that would have provided tax relief to individuals and businesses hit hard by the governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Families and businesses across the state are suffering due to the governor’s restrictions,” said Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake. “Whitmer’s stay-home orders and the closing of businesses have caused many companies to go out of business and have put families and those living paycheck-to-paycheck in difficult situations.

“The bills my Senate colleagues and I sponsored and that received broad bipartisan support in the Senate and House would have relieved some of these cashflow issues. It is unconscionable for Gov. Whitmer to deny this assistance to so many who are suffering due to her actions. We should be doing all we can to help folks suffering from the effects of the virus and the shutdown.”

Runestad sponsored Senate Bill 936. That measure, along with SB 935, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Daley, and SB 937, sponsored by Sen. Curt VanderWall, would have provided cashflow assistance to businesses affected by the governor’s actions by permitting businesses to delay payment of required sales tax, use tax, and income tax withholdings to the state until Nov. 20, 2020.

“Many Michigan families are struggling to put food on the table as the state forced them out of work and then neglected to provide the necessary unemployment assistance promised to them,” said Daley, R-Lum. “These bills would have provided real relief to those in need, yet the governor chose to veto the legislation and continue to ignore the Legislature as the state responds to the coronavirus.”

VanderWall agreed.

“Many businesses are at a severe risk of not reopening after suffering the effects of the COVID-19 executive orders,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “It is heartless for the governor to deny them this relief after making decisions that could bring an end to their livelihoods.”