Senate approves MacDonald measure calling for waiving COVID-19-related fines

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate 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.

“Many of the governor’s executive orders and the health department’s emergency rules were broad and confusing. As a result, many of our small businesses made mistakes in interpreting the tremendous number of restrictions thrust upon them — often with very little notice,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “This is about fairness. Even the governor made a mistake and accidentally violated one of her health department orders.

“We should not be arbitrarily punishing some small business owners for making a mistake. Officials were understanding by not fining the governor or the bar she visited, and this resolution asks that the state show the same understanding for struggling business owners facing penalties, fines and lawsuits.”

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.

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Photo caption: Sen. Michael D. MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, outlines his resolution during session about urging the state to understand that people make mistakes and to forgive all fines and fees against business owners for violating COVID-19 orders or rules.