State Rep. John Damoose (R) is introducing a resolution to declare January 16 “Restaurant Dine-In Day,” he told The Kyle Olson Show this week.

Whitmer’s mid-November three-week “pause” — which banned in-person dining and has been extended twice — is slated to end January 15.

“I talked to so many restaurant owners who said, ‘Okay, I guess we can open on this date and it was less than 48 hours prior to the expiration that this was extended all the day [sic] to January 15,’ and these businesses, you know what they did? They went out and stocked up, they got their workforce ready to go, and then they got the rug pulled out from them,” Damoose said.

“All the stuff they bought spoiled, so it’s just like adding insult to injury,” he said.

He said of his resolution, which will be introduced on January 13 — the first day of the new session — “it’s entirely positive. We’re living up to her extension to the 15th, fine, whatever. We don’t agree with it, but we’re going to live up to it. Now, we’re going to go out and celebrate these businesses.”

Damoose acknowledged a resolution does not do much, but the intent is to “set the tone that we’re serious about this.”

He said many other representatives are rallying behind it, and “some of these restaurants are just plain happy to see someone supporting them.”

Damoose told The Kyle Olson Show that businesses and residents have been met with “hostile message after hostile message” from Whitmer and her administration.

“I think it’s time we change our tone,” he said, and thank residents for complying with the orders for so long.

Damoose represents the northern Lower Peninsula and southern Upper Peninsula, including the tourist destination of Mackinac Island. He said those locations were able to “get by” in 2020, but many of them are wondering if they will be able to stay open if the restrictions continue much longer.

He said one way the legislature can restore some balance and decrease Whitmer acting unilaterally is to use her administration’s funding as a lever.

“We do control the power of the purse,” Damoose said. “Reining in Health and Human Services, we do control their budget,” he said.

That is the department that began issuing restrictions after the state Supreme Court ruled Whitmer’s executive orders unconstitutional in October.

Damoose noted the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee said future funding would be tied to repealing lockdown orders.

As for the “Restaurant Dine-In Day” on January 16, he encouraged residents to “order big and tip lots.”