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Whitmer, GOP leaders cut deal on budget talks, work rules

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Posted at 7:00 PM, May 20, 2021

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leaders have announced the framework of an agreement to open budget negotiations, give lawmakers input into future pandemic restrictions and drop potential permanent COVID-19 workplace regulations.

The deal may finally ease longstanding tensions in the Capitol that existed even before the Democratic governor issued orders to control the coronavirus.

GOP lawmakers will include Whitmer’s budget director in talks about the next state spending plan and how to spend billions of federal coronavirus relief aid.

The governor will withdraw permanent pandemic workplace-safety rules that could have taken effect in the fall after emergency rules expire.

The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association applauded the agreement. Executive Director Scott Ellis says, “If these rules would have gone into effect, it would have been disastrous for business owners, not only in the hospitality industry but in all industries statewide.”