State Rep. Andrew Fink today underscored the dire need for restaurants to resume in-person dining services after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a current statewide ban would be extended to Feb. 1.
“The governor’s actions are upsetting not only because of the terrible position it puts our local restaurants and their employees in, but also because the Feb. 1 date is completely arbitrary and she has provided no sound reasoning behind it,” said Fink, of Hillsdale. “The ban has been extended numerous times with no regard for its catastrophic impact. The governor refuses to budge or compromise when it comes to restaurants, making unilateral decisions for restaurants in every corner of the state despite the many different ways COVID is impacting each community.”
Michigan has roughly 16,500 eating and drinking establishments that employ more than 447,000 people.
Fink also pointed to the negative impact the governor’s actions have had on civic associations such as the VFW and Elks Clubs, as they are unable to serve food or beverages under the ban on indoor dining.
“These valuable community organizations are on the brink of permanent closure as a result of these unnecessary shutdowns,” said Fink, who belongs to the American Legion. “For years, these associations have enriched communities across Michigan, and the governor could wipe them out in a matter of months.”
Fink had supported legislative efforts dubbing Jan. 16 as “Dine-In Day” in Michigan – encouraging people to safely support local restaurants as the order banning indoor dining was previously set to expire that day.
Whitmer’s order initially went into effect Nov. 18. While the governor has repeatedly promised to revise the emergency health order should COVID cases decline, she has not. The Detroit News reported in mid-December – when the governor extended her order for the first time – that statewide COVID cases were declining. As of this week, cases have plateaued.
State Rep. Andrew Fink is urging the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) to review or return fines that were issued on workplaces as a result of executive orders that were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.