State rep. hopes there’s more to Phase 1 of Gov. Baker’s reopening plan after obtaining preview memo

BOSTON — Just one day before Governor Charlie Baker is expected to reveal his four-phase plan to reopen Massachusetts businesses, Mass. State Rep. Shawn Dooley said he got an inside look.

Dooley, R-Norfolk, told Boston 25 News that he obtained a copy of an email sent out to the Massachusetts Municipal Association on Sunday, which gave local city and town leaders a heads up on what to expect from phase 1 of the governor’s reopening plan.

That memo indicated that manufacturing, construction and houses of worship would be among the first to resume operation.

“It was very disappointing because I was really, really hoping there would be a much more thought-out plan as far as dealing with our small, local businesses,” Rep. Dooley said.

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Representative Dooley added that phase one of the plan allegedly focuses on construction, manufacturing and worship.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Dooley said, “I guess [Baker] is opening churches, so if your business isn’t one of the ‘chosen ones’ you can go there to pray that you don’t go bankrupt.”

I just got a heads up on what will be included in the Governor’s Phase 1 “start” announcement. I am being told it will...

Posted by Shawn Dooley State Representative on Sunday, May 17, 2020

Dooley went on to say that he doesn’t think government should be choosing winners and losers and that he believes the plan may be one of the most restrictive he’s seen so far.

“From what I’ve seen this is by far the most restrictive,” he said. “And even worse than being more restrictive, it’s not laying out categories and it’s not giving people hope.”

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Dooley also questioned why the state allows hordes of people into out-of-state corporations like Walmart, while forbidding small local businesses to open for one customer at a time or by appointment only.

He called that decision unfair. And while he said he has not seen the entirety of the governor’s plan, he hopes more flexibility will be offered out during Monday’s official rollout.

Dooley acknowledged that the Massachusetts Municipal Association memo said plan would be worked on throughout the weekend and that guidance could change. “Hopefully this was just tops of the trees,” Dooley wrote. “And there will be something far more comprehensive that comes out tomorrow.”

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