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Dems didn't rubber-stamp Whitmer's order on COVID patients in nursing homes, say state lawmakers

Posted at 5:54 AM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 05:54:51-05

SOUTHFIELD (WXYZ)  — "I don't think anybody runs for office to try to make things worse. I think Governor Whitmer acted in good faith to try to make things better," said State Representative Kevin Coleman when asked about a push by Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido to have Whitmer investigated for possible criminal charges surrounding COVID deaths in nursing homes.

"I don't know where the investigation is going but what I'll do is I'll follow it and I'll keep an open mind," said Coleman, a Democrat, who represents the 16th House District which includes Wayne and Westland.

Coleman admits he came into his first term in 2020 with nursing home issues at the top of his agenda, stemming from issues his grandmother experienced years ago and a relative currently working in one.

Coleman has introduced legislation that requires the posting of licensing information at the front of every nursing home as well as contact information to the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman.

"And also a hotline so people can make complaints or report mistreatment or neglect," he said. "There are a lot of things that need work in this area.

And Representative Laurie Pohutsky from the 19th House District (D-Livonia) agrees, but she also thinks Lucido's actions are very politicized.

"I struggle to understand why this is being painted as though the governor was unwilling to negotiate or take criticism when I can tell you, first hand, that is not the experience that I had," Pohutsky said. "And we had legislation that was introduced to try and improve the situation and it died in committee."

Click on the video above to hear more from the state lawmakers who say they are continuing to work on legislation in Lansing that is specific to Michigan nursing homes, their residents, and workers.