Sen. MacDonald calls for waiving COVID-19-related fines

LANSING, Mich. — A Senate committee on Thursday approved Sen. Michael D. MacDonald’s resolution urging the forgiveness of all fines and fees levied against business owners for violating state COVID-19 orders or rules.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, many executive orders and emergency rules were issued to protect the public. These were often far-reaching, arbitrary and confusing — and they changed often,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “They were also accompanied by fines and penalties for businesses that made a mistake when trying to interpret the tremendous number of varying rules being thrust upon them. Many of our small business owners made choices that they thought were the best, and some made mistakes along the way.

“We should not be penalizing individuals for mistakes during these unprecedented times. Even the governor made a mistake. My resolution asks that these penalties, fines, and lawsuits against struggling business owners be waived.”

Senate Resolution 59 urges the governor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to forgive all fines and fees accrued by businesses for violating COVID-19 orders or rules. It also urges the Michigan attorney general to halt all prosecutions related to the violations.

SR 59 was approved by the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee on Thursday and now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

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Photo caption: Sen. Michael D. MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, tells the Senate Economic and Small Business Development Committee about the need for his resolution urging the state to forgive all fines and fees against business owners for violating COVID-19 orders or rules.