READ: Letters From Christine Greig & Lee Chatfield

Cover Image
Some state lawmakers are refusing to go to Lansing on Tuesday, April 7, amid the coronavirus crisis. The following letters concern that issue.

------------------------------------

LETTER FROM HOUSE MINORITY LEADER

The Honorable Lee ChatfieldSpeaker of the House of Representatives162 Michigan State Capitol BuildingLansing, MI 48933

"Dear Mr. Speaker:

I am writing to express my grave concerns about the prospect of the House returning to legislative sessionon April 7 without adequate precautions in place to protect the health and safety of Members, staff, and the public and for the purpose, if press reports are to be believed, of acting on a measure that is both insufficient to address the present public health crisis and legally dubious.

On March 13, I wrote to you regarding the necessity of limiting legislative session to only those matters that relate directly to Michigan’s response to this deadly pandemic and we have spoken about the need to implement social distancing and other precautions to mitigate the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus while conducting legislative business. I was dismayed that the House then proceeded to meet in session for over twelve hours with few, if any, such precautions implemented. This despite the fact that many House Members are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 due to age and preexisting medical conditions. The House must not repeat these mistakes. The pressing need for such precautions is underscored by the tragic death of our colleague, and my friend, State Representative Isaac Robinson. I have requested, at a minimum, that the House adhere to the social distancing guidelines established by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, I have requested that the House implement a screening protocol for al