VanderWall named to Safe Behavior for Safe Workplaces Senate work group

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, has been named to a Senate work group tasked with determining a transition plan to enable Michigan residents to return to work after an extended time at home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The goal of the Safe Behavior for Safe Workplaces work group is to provide recommendations to the governor by Friday, April 17.

“The target for establishing a plan to guide individuals and families who seek to return to the workplace safely is nine days away,” said VanderWall, who chairs the Health Policy and Human Services Committee. “While that doesn’t seem like a lot of time, I think it reflects an appropriate sense of urgency given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in.

“The risk this virus has presented to our health and safety has been great, but the economic challenges we face are also daunting. A concrete strategy will help enable a quicker recovery.”

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, and Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth — the chairman of the work group — announced the formation of the group Tuesday.

“Our willingness to embrace handwashing, social distancing, and the use of masks is the key to transitioning back to a more typical daily life,” Shirkey said. “We believe citizens who can maintain these behaviors within their homes can also maintain strict health and safety measures in the workplace. Today, we are announcing a work group that will begin the process of developing a plan to transition Safe Behavior to Safe Workplaces.”

In addition to VanderWall and Chairman Horn, the Senate bipartisan work group will include Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City; Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit; Sen. Sylvia Santana, D-Detroit; and Sen. Jeremy Moss, D-Southfield.

The work group will utilize various communication tools to remotely interact with and gather information from businesses, medical professionals and residents across Michigan to prepare for the transition back to work.