LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) today introduced a bill to create the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, codifying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-55 into law.
Senate Bill 944 would create an advisory task force for the governor to study the causes of racial disparities as it relates to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to offer recommendations and actions to immediately address them, as well as the historical and systematic inequities that promoted them.
“While simultaneously saying they disagree with Governor Whitmer, Republican leadership recently advanced a bill that codified some of her executive orders, but what they left out is telling — including this specific task force,” Sen. Brinks said. “If my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are as committed to finding solutions as they say they are, they should seriously consider taking up this legislation that addresses finding solutions for all Michiganders.”
COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted communities of color across Michigan. While African Americans make up 13.6% of the state’s population, they make up 40% of COVID-19 related deaths.
Among the goals of the task force would be:
“The disparities resulting from this pandemic are not new revelations,” Sen. Brinks said. “COVID-19 only lays bare our state’s dark past of institutional racial and ethnic inequality. I hope this task force better equips our government with tools to learn from our past and offers the public an understanding on how to better serve communities of color moving forward.”
Sign up to be the first to know what I'm doing to build a thriving community and fight for you.
First Name is required
Last Name is required
Email Address is required
Zip Code is required
We take your privacy seriously.