Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Monday she would send a letter to the Michigan legislature asking it to extend the state of emergency by 28 days, adding that “it really should be longer.”
“State of emergency gives us the ability to extend liability protections for all the people that are doing this frontline work, the doctors and the nurses and the first responders,” she said. “We know we’re going to have take this kind of a posture and extend these protections to our health care workers for at least another 28 days, and that’s precisely why I’ve asked that of the legislature.”
Whitmer also asked for a state of emergency extension from the legislature on April 1, originally requesting an extension of 70 days. The legislature only granted her an extension of 23 days, saying that the initial 70-day request was too long.
Governor Whitmer Provides Update on State’s Response to COVID-19 https://t.co/YSaKf2dotE
— Michigan State Police (@MichStatePolice) April 27, 2020
The state of emergency order allows Whitmer to hold certain powers and leverage resources without legislature approval. Whitmer originally declared a state of emergency for Michigan on March 10.
Senate Republicans have “not yet reached consensus on action for an extension of the Governor’s emergency declaration,” Amber McCann, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-16-Clark Lake) told MLive.
“I have multiple distinct independent authorities of constitutional and statutory power to keep people safe as the governor of the state of Michigan,” Whitmer said in a response to a question asking if there would be a court battle if the legislature does not grant an extension. “The emergency powers that I have as governor do not depend on an extension from the legislature, but the protections for our health care workers do. And, so, it’s better for everyone if we work together to get this right, and that’s precisely what I am trying to do.”
There are currently more than 39,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The death toll in the state is 3,567.
– – –