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Governor Whitmer says mask mandates up to local governments and schools

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she is ready to use her veto pen to stop Republican legislation to limit schools and local governments from enacting mask requirements.

The governor is traversing the state to sell her COVID-19 recovery plans, but she remains trapped in the present as she’s confronted by a surge in cases.

The governor praised counties and school districts that have adopted universal mask requirements in the face of the spread of the Delta variant and blasted proposals by some Republican lawmakers to forbid unilateral action by local governments.

“There have been a lot of strong feelings on every side of every issue we’ve confronted over the last 18 months, but the fact of the matter is these local departments of public health, working very closely with schools, is the best way to get a policy that reflects the parents and the students and the needs of a community.” Whitmer said.

The governor also says she will veto a bill just sent to her desk that would outlaw using the state’s emergency response network to send updates on COVID-19 orders. But Whitmer says she still has no plans to issue new statewide mandates.

Rick Pluta is the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He is heard daily on WCMU's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.