Whitmer’s new stay home order blasted by critics for lack of consistency

Detroit Free Press reports Michigan State residents can’t travel to their Up North cottages, but Illinois residents who own one in Michigan apparently can.

In-store purchases of Michigan Lottery tickets are still permitted, but buying a can of paint or a bag of seeds is off limits.

Though many Michigan residents applaud Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s extended and expanded “stay home” order, handed down Thursday, plenty of them are questioning the inconsistencies and others are outright opposed to the new travel restrictions.

At least two Capitol protests were announced and Republican lawmakers stepped up their warnings Friday about the impact on Michigan’s economy, which has tanked amid the coronavirus pandemic and measures enacted to control the spread of the virus.

Beginning Saturday morning, previously permitted travel between two Michigan residences will end, including jumping in the car to visit a friend, or even walking across the street to watch TV with a neighbor. Exceptions include purposes such as caring for a relative, an elderly friend or a pet, visiting a nursing home or similar facility, attending a funeral with no more than 10 people, or complying with a court order related to child custody.

“I don’t think that’s right,” said Hal Hughes, 88, a retired manufactured home salesman in Plymouth. “You should be able to visit who you want to visit.”

Hughes said he can’t understand how the state has imposed still more restrictions on the movement of people and the sale of nonessential goods, without shutting down in-store lottery sales.

“You can’t go visit your friends. You can’t buy seeds … but you can sneak out and buy lottery tickets,” Hughes said. “I don’t understand it, unless it’s hypocritical greed.”

The state is encouraging Michiganders to buy their lottery tickets online and has cautioned merchants about letting people congregate around lottery terminals in violation of social distancing guidelines, but in-store sales continue. Lottery proceeds largely support K-12 education.

Though the new order prohibits trips from a Michigan residence to a Michigan cottage, travel between states is still permitted, and by the words of the order, only “individuals currently living within the State of Michigan,” but not residents living in other states, are subject to the order. That would suggest that residents of other states who own cottages Up North can continue to visit, unless banned by a “stay home” order in their own state.