Michigan Governor Vetoes Small Business Relief and Limitations on Orders

Date: March 29, 2021

Governor Vetoes Small Business Relief Again

On March 18 of this year, Governor Whitmer declared, “As we continue to address the effects of COVID-19, our top priority is providing financial relief to Michigan families and small businesses, so that we can grow our economy and get back to normal”. On March 26th, for the second time, the governor vetoed $555 million in small business relief that included:

  • $150 million to the Unemployment Compensation Fund
  • $300 million for a special property tax relief program for businesses
  • $55 million for unemployment insurance tax relief for eligible businesses
  • $16.5 million for liquor license relief
  • $22 million for food service establishment license relief
  • $11.5 million for a license and inspection fee relief program

The governor also vetoed Senate Bill 1, NFIB supported legislation that would limit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) ability to issue emergency epidemic orders for more than 28 days without legislative approval.

Senate Bill 1 was tied to $300 million in appropriations for coronavirus response. A recent survey of NFIB small business members shows support for conditioning the appropriation of federal stimulus money on legislative oversight of emergency epidemic orders.

“The time for governing by press conference is over,” said NFIB Michigan State Director, Charlie Owens. “Between the governor’s unconstitutional executive orders and now the endless emergency orders from the Department of Health and Human Services, the citizens of Michigan are left without a voice.”

NFIB continues to support House and Senate leadership in withholding appropriations sought by the governor, including federal stimulus funding until the governor acknowledges and respects our legislators who were duly elected to represent Michigan’s citizens.

Senate Bill 1 would have required the governor to include our lawmakers in the next steps on responding to an outbreak before an MDHHS emergency order could be extended beyond 28 days. NFIB believes this is not unreasonable as evidenced by the Supreme Court’s decision indicating that her previous use of executive orders was unconstitutional.

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