LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, issued the following statement on Wednesday, in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2021 State of the State address:
“It is always interesting to hear the governor’s priorities and her outlook for Michigan’s future, but actions always speak louder than words written in a speech.
“For nearly a year, the Legislature has been left out of discussions surrounding the pandemic response. At first, it was calling on the Legislature to work with her on roads before she chose to go it alone to solve that issue. We then set up a responsible budget and she gutted it and sent money where she saw fit. We have provided input and feedback from our constituents about how the pandemic is negatively affecting them, but she routinely ignores these pleas and has continued to keep the state locked down while changing the rules time and again when her extensions are set to expire.
“So, forgive me for being skeptical of her calls tonight for us to work together. It takes two to do so and we’re tired of holding our hands out.
“With that said, I hope she is finally willing to work with us. We can start by giving people some certainty as to when they can return to work and do so without changing the rules a few days before the restrictions are to be lifted.
We can also continue working to provide relief to those businesses that are on the brink of shutting down to help them stay afloat. Workers and businesses need certainty. They cannot keep making investments in safety equipment and extra measures only to be shut down anyway.
“Next, we can get kids back into schools and allow them to compete in winter sports and have that much-needed interaction with their peers. This will be a tremendous first step in addressing and healing the mental health problems that have developed from people being locked in their homes.
“Finally, she can join us in approving a responsible budget that puts some money back in our savings and funds critical state services like public safety, public health, road repairs and our schools.
“I’ve said from the beginning that the solution cannot be worse than the cure, and as we watch families struggle, businesses fail, and people’s life’s work being thrown out through the decision-making of one person, I believe we have reached that point.
“I hope 2021 is the year the governor finally does join hands with the Legislature. I hope she does give people in this state a voice.
“I look forward to the governor’s budget presentation in the coming weeks and seeing if she truly means the words she said tonight, or if it was another speech for the cameras.”