Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic Holds First Hearing
State Rep. Matt Hall, of Marshall, led proceedings today in a new joint bipartisan oversight committee that will review decision-making and preparedness from the governor and state departments in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic features legislators from both parties in the House and the Senate and will seek legislative recommendations that better protect the people of Michigan. Committee rules were laid out in today’s hearing and Hall, who chairs the committee, noted the setup is similar to normal legislative committees and select committees appointed in times of emergency – such as the Flint Water Crisis.
“Legislative oversight has a crucial role within state government,” said Hall, who also chairs the House Oversight Committee. “It’s imperative to ensure the administration and particular departments are working as effectively and efficiently as possible for the people they represent.
“Government should be accountable to the people. It’s needed now more than ever because the administration has made critical, unilateral decisions during an ongoing public health emergency – decisions that are impacting nearly 10 million people who call Michigan home.”
Hall noted in his opening statement that a fundamental role of a legislator is to be a voice for the people they represent, and that he has heard from many on the decision-making process during the outbreak.
“I assume I am not the only legislator on this committee who has received thousands of calls and emails over the past several weeks regarding state government decisions and state department activity,” Hall said. “People have questions about their safety, livelihoods, families and futures. As the voice of the people we represent, we must work to provide them with the answers they deserve to those many questions and concerns.”
Other committee members include state Reps. Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann), Julie Calley (R-Portland), Tyrone Carter (D-Detroit) and Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw), as well as state Sens. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), Kim LaSata (R-St. Joseph), Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D-East Lansing) and Adam Hollier (D-Detroit).