GOP: No aid unless counties control school, sports closures

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan House Republicans have proposed a $3.5 billion coronavirus recovery plan that threatens to withhold billions to K-12 schools unless Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives up her administration’s power to prohibit in-person instruction and sports to local health departments.

The state health department in November ordered a temporary ban on face-to-face learning in high schools to curb spiking cases of COVID-19. The administration lifted it a month later. A prohibition on youth contact sports remains, angering high school athletes, coaches and parents.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, have lashed out over COVID-19 restrictions being issued without their input by blocking 13 of the Democratic governor’s nominees to various state boards.

Whitmer is expected to seek areas of common ground in her annual State of the State address Wednesday night, but partisan rancor is unlikely to dissipate in Lansing.

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