This evening, it was announced that Governor Whitmer and GOP leaders have reached an agreement on pandemic response and future budget negotiations. The legislature will now have a seat at the table when it comes to pandemic-related decisions and the governor’s administration will now have a participatory position when the legislature is working on state budgets.
But the bigger story for our industry was the announcement that the permanent rules request from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) will be rescinded, which has been something that the MLBA has been working tirelessly to make happen. The MLBA participated in the committee that drafted these rules and expressed our concerns, but labor unions pushed to keep these restrictions, so we had to take a different approach to successfully rescind them. If these rules would have gone into effect, it would have been disastrous for business owners, not only in the hospitality industry, but in all industries statewide.
This is a huge victory for our industry all around. The permanent workplace safety rules MIOSHA was trying to pass would have required business owners to abide by COVID-related restrictions even after the CDC and MDHHS lifted their pandemic orders and guidelines.
We are also happy to see the governor and legislature finally striking a deal and showing the willingness to work together. Roughly $400 million of direct relief for the hospitality industry has been up in the air for months due to sour dispositions between the governor and legislature. We’ve long offered to put them in a room with strong drinks until they resolve their differences, but we’re glad to see they’ve done it on their own.
Now that the MIOSHA stuff is out of the way, one of the main priorities for the MLBA will now be getting the millions in pandemic relief that was line-item vetoed by the governor passed. Our industry still has a long way to go before we’re back in the black. We look forward to working with the governor’s administration and legislature to secure the funding and assistance that our industry desperately needs.
On a side note, we have received a number of calls and emails from members asking about the changes to the MIOSHA workplace safety rules that will be announced on Monday. We have heard that the curfew will be lifted, however, nothing is set in stone at this point. We will provide everyone with a thorough update on Monday.
– MLBA Staff –
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