Whitmer: Holding back federal virus aid ‘cruel and reckless’


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers her third State of the State Address. (Jan. 27, 2021)


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she will not cede her authority to issue certain COVID-19 restrictions, calling Republicans’ attempt to hold back federal pandemic relief unless she changes course “cruel and reckless.”

The Democratic governor on Thursday urged GOP lawmakers to stop “digging in” on their continued opposition to state health department orders.

They limit capacity at restaurants to 25% and prohibit youth contact sports to curb the coronavirus.

Senate Republicans have blocked 13 of her appointees while House Republicans want to link $2.3 billion in K-12 funding to empowering counties — not the state — to decide about restricting sports and in-person instruction.

Original: 1/27

GOP: No aid unless counties control school, sports closures

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan House Republicans have proposed a $3.5 billion coronavirus recovery plan that threatens to withhold billions to K-12 schools unless Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives her administration’s power to prohibit in-person instruction and sports to local health departments.

The state health department in November ordered a temporary ban on face-to-face learning in high schools to curb spiking cases of COVID-19. The administration lifted it a month later.

A prohibition on youth contact sports remains, angering high school athletes, coaches and parents.

The Democratic governor will highlight her $5.6 billion COVID-19 relief plan in her State of the State speech Wednesday night.

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