Pro-Small Business Legislation Would Allow Businesses to Remain Open Under Emergency Orders

Date: March 11, 2021

Enough "essential" vs "nonessential" nonsense

NFIB testified in support of legislation that would prevent a business from being closed by an emergency order while other businesses selling similar products or with similar operations are allowed to remain open.

House Bill 4268, sponsored by State Representative Luke Meerman, was the subject of a hearing in the House Government Operations Committee. It would provide that a business could not be required to close under a state or local emergency epidemic order or rule as long as it is in compliance with the health or safety precautions required of another business allowed to stay open under the same order.

“Too many small businesses remained closed while watching their big box competitors thrive during the early period of the coronavirus pandemic”, said NFIB Michigan State Director, Charlie Owens. “Discriminating against one business over another by deeming one as ‘essential’ and another as ‘nonessential’ when they have similar operations is an arbitrary and capricious abuse of emergency powers”.

NFIB is also supporting other legislation that would limit emergency orders issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) to no more than 28 days without legislative approval.

Since the Michigan Supreme Court declared Governor Whitmer’s issuance of executive orders to restrict and close businesses unconstitutional last fall, she has been issuing similar emergency orders through the MDHHS. NFIB supports efforts by the Senate and House to place limits the governor’s unilateral and endless emergency orders.

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