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Saturday, January 22, 2022

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    Budget bill bans state vaccine mandates, many local school mask rules

    Michigan public agencies may not require employees or customers be vaccinated against COVID-19 while state and local health officials cannot enact or enforce mask rules for K-12 students under provisions of a budget bill that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and legislative leaders say will be approved. 

    The nearly $70-billion budget proposal also mandates the state publish detailed justification for any future pandemic orders. 

    Senate Bill 82, a budget measure that emerged from closed-door negotiations between legislative leaders and Whitmer’s administration on Tuesday, includes nearly 1,000 pages outlining funding for all state departments next financial year. It passed the Senate with unanimous support. 

    “We wanted to negotiate. Those negotiations were in good faith, they were bipartisan. They were very productive. They weren’t always easy, but I’m pleased with how the budget ended up,” Whitmer said, speaking Tuesday afternoon from outside the Mackinac Policy Conference on Mackinac Island. 

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