LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, issued the following statement on Saturday in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announcing that restaurants are once again being forced to remain closed, now until Jan. 15:
“Once again, the governor’s administration is unilaterally controlling the ability of Michigan residents to make a living.
“While I am proud of the relief we worked on late into the evening many nights this week, folks simply want to get back to work and support themselves. This sentiment has been echoed from residents across the state but has been routinely ignored by the governor and her department leaders — yet every person in the administration has continued to receive a paycheck since the first shutdown nearly one year ago.
“Unfortunately, many Michiganders were unable to hold on and were forced to close their doors as the governor’s arbitrary shutdowns were extended time and time again. I feel the frustration and anger as I speak with folks from my district. People are being backed into a corner and many have nowhere to turn.
“An example from my family, and from my community: The Riverdale Tavern. This establishment has been in my family since 1917. The restaurant was able to survive two world wars, the Great Depression, and heck, was even able to survive prohibition — sadly it does not look like it will survive the heavy-handed orders of Gov. Whitmer. Unfortunately, The Riverdale Tavern joins countless other Michigan businesses on the brink of closing their doors. Over 100 years of hard work and dedication to the community being wiped out single handedly by our governor.
“We’re now told it’s safe to go to casinos, to bowling alleys and to movie theatres, but it’s unsafe to support local restaurants with our families. This is an insult to the countless business owners who have invested every dime they have to stay in business and to keep their employees and customers safe.
“It’s not only unfair, but cruel to continue to rip people’s livelihoods away and drag them along with false hope in the peak of the holiday season. This is America. We work hard for what we have, and it is not the job of the government to dictate whether people can make a living or not. This is an absolute afront to our values as Americans.”