Runestad comments after Senate extends safety measures

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Senate Bill 858 and Senate Resolution 114, extending safety protocols for businesses and public places and defending the Legislature’s role in states of emergency.

Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, issued the following statement Thursday after he voted in support of both measures:

“For several weeks my colleagues and I have been trying to negotiate with Gov. Whitmer to provide a blueprint for how to safely restart our economy while continuing to fight the spread of the coronavirus.

“The people of our great state have complied with the governor’s stay-at-home order. They have made enormous sacrifices and have made the changes necessary to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. But we cannot ask people to shut down their lives indefinitely. We must provide a path forward.

“My legislative colleagues and I have been asking the governor to shift from a policy of declaring which businesses can be open and which goods and services are classified as essential to working with our job providers to promote safe practices compliant with social distancing to get our economy started again for some of us.

“With the governor’s actions yesterday to break off negotiations with the Legislature, I could no longer support an extension of her unilateral power knowing I would not be able to represent my constituents in the process. Instead, I voted to put safety protocols for businesses and public places into law. I also voted in favor of continuing to protect our health care workers as they bravely work to treat patients suffering the effects of the virus.

I pledge to continue to work with my fellow elected leaders in Oakland County to support our local public health providers. I will continue to prioritize the health of my constituents and help ensure Oakland County has the tools necessary to keep our communities safe.”