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Horn: Whitmer misses the mark with her economic recovery plan

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, issued the following statement Tuesday afternoon after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her COVID-19 Recovery Plan:

“It’s interesting to see the governor is suddenly concerned about the health of small businesses, after forcing them to close their doors without a scrap of presentable data. Small family businesses aren’t asking for her handouts; they simply want to open back up and earn a living. It’s what they were promised last summer.

“Gov. Whitmer continues to use a piecemeal approach instead of a strategic plan to reopen businesses. This shouldn’t be a rollercoaster ride — employers and employees are fed up and deserve some actual answers regarding their futures and livelihoods.

“Michigan family businesses need certainty. They need to re-inventory and re-hire. They can’t afford to re-stock their dumpsters every time this administration decides to move the goalpost. If our main streets are to open, businesses need to know when they can safely invite customers to walk through their doors again.

“The governor has refused to work with the Legislature and her departments have failed to provide any reasonable facts that demonstrate why businesses should be shut down. After today, it’s clear that what the governor wants for main street businesses has little relationship to what main street businesses want for themselves.

“The governor claims her new request of $225 million is necessary — just a couple of weeks after she vetoed over $300 million in relief. The economy is getting dizzy from all the spin coming from the administration. What’s worse is that with every press conference comes a new excuse for the unnecessary shutdowns. Worst of all, this relief, no matter what size, is only temporary and avoids re-opening costs.

“Here’s what hospitality businesses need: Cash to re-inventory, the ability to re-hire a qualified staff, temporary relief from property taxes, exemptions from unemployment insurance rate increases due to COVID-19, Pure Michigan marketing support, and a reversal of Michigan’s income disparity that increases consumer confidence at every level. The income gap between those who never lost a paycheck and those put out of work by a government order has never been greater.

“The unempathetic government leaders who caused this extraordinary disparity should feel at least some modicum of shame.

“If the governor ever gets serious about working with the Legislature, she needs to first stop referring to it incessantly as the ‘GOP Legislature.’ The Legislature is a co-equal branch. It’s difficult, however, to get sensible bills passed into law when sensible bills can’t get past the wagging finger and bullying rhetoric of the governor’s bully pulpit each week.

“For my part, I am perfectly willing to open my Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee to work closely with the governor and her team. But first, let’s safely open our small businesses. They deserve our support.”