Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her Lt. Governor Garlan Gilchrist II are trading jabs with Republican Majority leaders of the state legislature.  While not a new development, the tenor and tone of the comments appear to show an expanding rift between the leaders. Governor Whitmer is accusing accused the Republican majorities in both State Senate and State House of Representatives of sitting around doing little the last few months.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield is posting a response on his Facebook page:

“We’ve been in session all during Covid, yet the governor has refused to work with us even once. She even went as far to veto our bills when we attempted to partner with her and codify some of the reasonable executive orders. Now she’s claiming we’re not in town today while she’s working, though yesterday she campaigned all day for House Democrats. The hypocrisy is truly astounding, and I’m glad nobody believes it."

The Legislature will be in session again next week, and the governor will now have a chance to prove her newfound desire to build bridges and work with the Legislature. Let’s hope that for the betterment of our state and sake of the people that lessons were learned after the Supreme Court ruling. It’s time that we set differences aside and finally work together to fight Covid-19 smarter. I know everybody is frustrated, but we have to overcome it. I’m committed to doing that. I hope the governor and others are too.”

Democratic Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II is now challenging the Republican legislative leadership to require lawmakers to don face coverings while in session. He has written an “open letter” to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield. In part he says,

“Requiring members of the Senate and House to mask up is also about the safety of our families, our friends, and anyone we cross paths with after we leave these Chambers. We have no way to know who is at-risk or who has an at-risk loved one waiting for them at home. The decision to wear a mask demonstrates that you respect the safety of everyone around you and everyone that they care about. So let us model the safest behavior with the hopes that others would do the same.”

There is so far no direct response to his request. But both Republican leaders have hinted they are not fully supportive of mandatory mast requirements, especially for businesses in Michigan.

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