As the political bickering over federal COVID funds—signed into law in December by former President Trump—continues between the Republican legislature and Governor Whitmer, the residents of this state suffer.

Republicans in Lansing continually insist that the governor’s emergency powers be curtailed in any deal to release all of these aforementioned federal funds. Does the legislature really know what is best? Well, the Republicans in 2012 passed PA 436, which made it legal for an emergency manager to step in and take over power from local officials whose locality is in a dire financial situation. Mind you, PA 436 replaced PA 4, a similar law that Michigan voters defeated at the polls in November 2012. PA 436 even made it impossible for Michigan voters to repeal it so it would not face a similar fate to PA 4. So, a law was forced on us that the people did not want. But the legislature knew what was best. How did that work out? Ask the residents of Flint who are still suffering from inept decision-making from their emergency manager that Governor Snyder appointed.

What is my point? Legislators do not always know best and neither does the governor for that matter, and when both sides start caring about people over politics we will all be better off. A position in state government does not mean you know what is best or are the number one authority on all topics. Leaders lead. They do not play political games at the detriment to others. The residents of this state deserve better. Get a deal done and release the full allotment of the federal funds rather than worrying about who has more power.

—Mike LaMarra,