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Lauwers flags Boards of Review affected by epidemic orders

Some of my Senate colleagues and I recently sent a letter to Gov. Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel, asking them to fix one of their orders that effectively prevents some local governments and bodies from meeting.

For nearly a year, residents have struggled to navigate life under the constraints of confusing orders. Current orders from the state’s health department impose not only restrictions on personal behaviors but also confusing restrictions on local governments and bodies and their ability to meet and serve their communities.

In my district, local Boards of Review are preparing to convene for their statutorily required organizational meeting on March 2, but they are hindered from doing so under the gatherings limit of 10 individuals from no more than two households.

The practical impact of the MDHHS order prevents Boards of Review from allowing all the members necessary to be present to conduct business while at the same time complying with the order.

While technology affords people the ability to connect without having to meet in person, it is not readily available or accessible for many residents of the 25th Senate District. Our Michigan weather does not permit many opportunities for outdoor gatherings as an alternative, so it’s important to be willing to let people meet in person.

It is the responsibility of government to consider the impact of its policies and account for unintended consequences. In short, it is the responsibility of government to use common sense.

I think we can all agree we should work to ensure the Boards of Review can meet and be available for citizen participation.

Read the letter we sent to the governor here.

Senate Republican priorities for 2021

Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the governor’s poor decision-making in response to it, Michigan has suffered greatly in the past year, and we must renew our efforts to enact workable solutions.

Senate Republicans have developed a list of priorities that will help enable the state to recover and stay healthy in 2021 and beyond.

The priorities are presented in three categories: Healthier Families and Communities, a Healthier Economy, and Building a Healthier Future. Senate Republicans identified protecting Michiganders from COVID-19, making Michigan a welcoming home for new and existing businesses, and getting students back on track as some of the top issues facing the people of Michigan at the start of the 101st Legislature.

The list of priorities includes 19 items that range from promoting economic freedom for hardworking taxpayers to ensuring confidence in elections. The caucus spent the past several months working to support residents and job providers struggling to make ends meet under the governor’s restrictions.

Click here to learn more about the Senate Republican priorities for 2021.

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Lauwers votes to hold governor accountable

I supported the Senate’s vote to reject Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appointments to several state boards.

The governor continues to show reckless disregard for the people of Michigan. Her decision to act unilaterally and shut down the state has led to both lives and livelihoods lost.

She has demonstrated over the last 11 months that she is not interested in working with the Legislature, her co-equal branch of government. Senate Republicans have tried to work with the governor to provide solutions to the challenges of COVID-19. But it appears that after nearly a year’s worth of authoritarian “leadership” by the governor, she has no intention of working with us.

In this unfortunate situation, the Legislature must do all it can to work on behalf of Michiganders. I owe it to you, my constituents, to be your voice and to push back on undemocratic orders as I am able.

As the Legislature has done in years past, we rejected some of the governor’s appointments. It is my continued hope that she will come to her senses, decide to come to the table and work with us on sensible solutions.

COVID-19 relief plan announced

The Senate Republicans recently announced a supplemental relief package that provides another $2 billion in funding needed for the fight against the virus and to assist Michigan families, workers and job providers struggling financially due to Gov. Whitmer’s shutdowns.

With the latest effort, we will have invested over $6 billion in COVID-19 relief to increase testing, distribute lifesaving vaccines, educate our students, and support our front-line workers, our small businesses and those who are out of work.

This plan is responsive and responsible. It helps meet the dire needs facing our state and its residents while also being smart in how we spend federal assistance dollars.

The plan is guided by the Senate Republican priorities for 2021, which focus on making Michigan healthier both physically and economically.

Support for our student athletes

The coronavirus pandemic has adversely affected every facet of life in our state and across the country. Perhaps no group of Michiganders has felt the negative impact of the pandemic more than our students. In an instant, their world has been turned upside down. Our students have been missing out on some of the most formative events in their lives — opportunities that often present themselves once, and never again.

I was incredibly concerned when Gov. Whitmer announced high school athletics must stop competing immediately and wouldn’t be able to resume until at least Feb. 22. In these challenging times, it is imperative that our governor, lawmakers, school administrators and organizations like the Michigan High School Athletic Association are responsive to our students’ needs.

In the wake of Gov. Whitmer’s announcement, I heard from dozens of concerned students, parents and coaches. I was proud to support Senate Resolution 7, which urged the governor and MDHHS to allow high school sports to resume play immediately. This resolution passed with bipartisan support.

Your voices matter, and they were heard. Gov. Whitmer reversed her decision, allowing contact sports to resume on Monday, Feb. 8. I am glad her administration recognizes that winter sports are a safe, and needed, activity for our students. I wish all of our teams the best of luck this season.

COVID-19 resources

Below is a list of resources available to you if you need any type of assistance. Additionally, you can contact my office at any time for more information.

• General information, resources, testing locations and more:
• Coronavirus hotline for health-related questions: 1-888-535-6136 daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: 1-800-232-4636 or
• Michigan PEER Warmline for mental health support and substance abuse challenges: 1-888-733-7753 every day from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.
• National suicide prevention lifeline available 24/7: Call 1-800-273-8255, text TALK to 741741 or visit
• Small business resources: or 1-888-522-0103.

Michigan's 25th Senate District

The 25th state Senate District includes the following areas:

Huron, St. Clair, and Sanilac counties, and Armada Township, Memphis, New Baltimore, Richmond, Richmond Township in Macomb County

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Thank you for subscribing to my electronic newsletter! I am honored to represent you in the state Senate. As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Please feel free to forward this on to others who may be interested in receiving the 25th District E-news. You may sign up for it also at my website.

Senator Dan Lauwers
S-2 Capitol Building
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

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