LANSING, Mich. — After the governor issued a new executive order on Thursday extending her previous “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through April 30, Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, issued the following statement:
“Earlier this week, my legislative colleagues and I put our faith in Gov. Whitmer and extended her emergency declaration until April 30, but it appears our faith was misplaced. When she reissued her ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order until April 30, she did so with the caveat that we will not go back to normal operations on May 1 and did nothing to address many of our businesses currently in danger of permanent closure. She explicitly failed to make any amendments that would allow our greenhouses and outdoor-related industries to operate in any capacity.
“I have spoken to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development about supporting our greenhouses and educating the governor on the industry’s current predicament. I have seen the numerous letters that senators and representatives have sent to the governor’s office urging her to allow greenhouses to sell their soon-to-be-spoiled products. I know that thousands of Farm Bureau members have answered a call to action and reached out to the governor’s office directly with their concerns. I hoped and I prayed that she would do the right thing and allow our greenhouses to operate using the same proper safety protocols we have seen at so many grocery stores, restaurants and hardware stores.
“Michiganders have heeded Gov. Whitmer’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order since March 24. They have practiced social distancing, taken on the challenge of homeschooling their children, worked under quarantine (when possible), and banded together to support our frontline health care workers during this unprecedented time. All they are asking in return is to be allowed to plant flowers and vegetable gardens and tend to the basic needs of their homes and yards.
“Allowing our greenhouses to sell flowers, shrubs and saplings safely via curbside pickup and online ordering will not only save an entire industry from certain bankruptcy, but it will also greatly improve the mental health of every Michigander sheltering in their home. If all you see out your window is overgrown lawns and barren flowerbeds, ‘staying home and staying safe’ will become more and more daunting and depressing.
“I urge Gov. Whitmer to reconsider her order and use some common sense to allow our greenhouses to operate. I implore the special Senate Safe Behavior for Safe Workplaces work group to make this their top priority. Finally, I urge all Michiganders to contact Gov. Whitmer and demand she allow you to plant flowers and care for your yards, because I have heard you, my fellow legislators have heard you, but there is still one person who has failed to listen.”