For Immediate Release
April 9, 2020
League echoes need for extension of Stay Home, Stay Safe order to protect health, workers
LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement that she is extending the Stay Home, Stay Safe order as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise. The statement can be attributed to President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs.
“The governor is making the right call today by extending the Stay Home, Stay Safe order. This is a hard time for everyone, and staying home and self-quarantining is certainly a sacrifice, especially for those who are struggling financially. But we’re still on the upswing of COVID-19 cases and deaths, with dramatic rises the last few days, and we all need to be doing what we can to combat the virus. By extending this order, the governor is making it easier and safer for everyone to stay home. And the state continues to offer expanded unemployment insurance and other associated worker and business protections to address the economic challenges that come with sheltering in place.
“As a voice for all Michigan workers, especially those making lower wages, the Michigan League for Public Policy knows that the ability to work from home is a luxury that many employees don’t have. By keeping nonessential businesses closed for the time being, the governor is protecting workers who would likely be expected back on the job the day their employers reopen, regardless of the surrounding public health climate or the risks associated with their particular work environment. Due to a variety of inequitable policy decisions throughout our state and our nation’s history, Michigan workers of color and those with lower incomes are already at greater risk of exposure to COVID-19. That danger does not need to be compounded by forcing them and other employees around the state to choose between their lives and their livelihoods, and the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order is the best way to protect the physical and economic health of all Michiganders.”
The Michigan League for Public Policy has been around since 1912, and the COVID-19 pandemic is one of the biggest health and economic crises to face our organization, our state and our nation in the past 108 years. As Gov. Whitmer and policymakers at the state and federal level work quickly to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the League has created a series of policy briefs on the COVID-19 outbreak to inform lawmakers’ public policy decisions now and down the road, as the economic and fiscal strains stand to last long after the virus is under control. The briefs examine the COVID-19 crisis and Michigan residents’ related needs in the areas of child care, food access, healthcare, housing, paid sick and family leave, unemployment insurance—as well as the state’s longer term revenue pressures.
The League continues to advocate for Michiganders of color and residents with lower incomes who stand to be impacted the most by COVID-19 and the economic fallout that follows, as well as the vital safety net programs like unemployment and food assistance that are crucial during this crisis. The League’s fiscal expertise is also valuable right now to help analyze and advocate for sound state and federal budget decisions, both as state revenues decline and billions of dollars in federal aid come through the Michigan Legislature.
The Michigan League for Public Policy, www.mlpp.org, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.