Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
To: State Department Directors and Autonomous Agency Heads
From: Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Date: March 30, 2020
Re: Restrictions on State Discretionary Spending During the COVID-19 Emergency
On March 10, 2020, with Executive Order 2020-4, I declared a statewide state of emergency due to the spread of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”). This is a new strain of coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans, can easily spread from person to person, and can result in serious illness or death. There is currently no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment for this disease.
In response to this pandemic, I have taken a series of significant and necessary actions to protect the health and safety of Michigan’s residents. These actions include the coordination of response activities through the State Emergency Operations Center and other measures to mitigate the spread of the virus, such as temporary restrictions on travel, gatherings, in-person work, and entry to places of public accommodation. These actions have provided essential protections to our state and its residents during this unprecedented public health crisis, but they carry with them unavoidable financial costs. The critical response activities undertaken by state departments and agencies will have a significant impact on the state budget. In addition, the necessary restrictions put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are expected to curtail economic activity in Michigan and substantially impact revenue collections by the state treasury. In anticipation of these impacts, state government must take action now to limit its discretionary spending, to help ensure that the COVID-19 pandemic does as little harm as possible to both the public health and the fiscal health of this state.
Acting under sections 1 and 8 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, I direct the following:
This directive is effective immediately and will remain in effect until further notice.
I extend my sincere appreciation for your assistance in implementing this directive and for the continued hard work of state employees as we respond to this public health emergency and the state’s resulting fiscal challenges.