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Whitmer to veto restrictions on local government COVID-19 orders

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer will sign a budget agreement before the state’s new fiscal year begins Friday. But she will veto language that would punish local health departments that issue COVID-19-related emergency orders. She has said that language does not belong in a budget bill. And she says it’s not enforceable and unconstitutional.

Republicans disagree. But Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Jim Stamas says that won’t derail the agreement.

“So until one side or the other probably challenges whether something can be deemed unenforceable and finding the opportunity to pick a fight on that, it hasn’t come up yet.” Jim Stamas said.

The new budget will ensure government agencies and public universities are funded going into the new fiscal year. Negotiations will continue between Whitmer and the Legislature’s leaders on how to use several billion dollars remaining in federal COVID-19 rescue funds.

The Ionia County Health Department lifted its emergency COVID health for schools on Monday. The Ionia Sentinel-Standard says that was in response to the budget bill.