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Michigan should let some contractors work under 'stay at home' order, says lawmaker

Michigan House of Representatives

The state house majority leader wants the Governor to let some Michigan businesses get back to work. State Rep. Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) said so in a letter to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer late Monday.

Cole says he's heard from construction crews, landscapers and contractors that want clarification on whether or not they can operate under the governor's "stay at home" order.

"Can we have members of the same household that are a work crew out doing something where there is no further interaction?" Cole said.

In the letter, Cole asked for small changes to the order that would allow for some businesses to operate safely.

"For example, a limit on crew size or allowing crews to stagger throughout a 24-hour timeline, among others. Single-family new construction projects... can be completed with very limited social interaction and without jeopardizing public safety," Cole wrote.

He added that clarification from the state would still allow counties to enforce the order while letting others work.

"People are gonna be out and about doing things, that's why we need this clarification," Cole said. "Families can stay home, they have the security that mom and dad are out and able to be safe and still earn a little bit of income."

All "non-essential" businesses are closed under the governor's order, which is slated to last until April 13.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the governor's office has not responded to Cole's letter.

Max came to IPR in 2017 as an environmental intern. In 2018, he returned to the station as a reporter and quickly took on leadership roles as Interim News Director and eventually Assignment Editor. Before joining IPR, Max worked as a news director and reporter at Michigan State University's student radio station WDBM. In 2018, he reported on a Title IX dispute with MSU in his story "Prompt, Thorough and Impartial." His work has also been heard on Michigan Radio, WDBM and WKAR in East Lansing and NPR.