Tuesday, Michigan legislators voted to extend the governor’s emergency declaration, originally scheduled to end today, by 23 days until April 30. The current emergency declaration stems from the coronavirus pandemic.
Whitmer asked for a 70-day extension, but lawmakers resolved for the end of the month.
Since Governor Whitmer initially declared a state of emergency on March 10, she has created more than 30 executive order centered around flattening the curve and limiting COVID-19 exposure. These executive orders have included suspending face to face learning, closing nonessential businesses, and eliminating weight restrictions for vehicles. The emergency declaration extension allows the governor to continue enacting executive orders in service of the people of Michigan.
Despite some opposition, an in-person vote did occur. Special guidelines were put in place to honor the CDC’s social distancing recommendation including limiting the number of elected officials entering at one time.
Opponents of the extension are concerned with the effects it will have on Michigan’s economy. In a recent press conference, the governor acknowledged more Michiganders filed for unemployment in one day than anyone week stretch of the Great Recession.
A bipartisan committee of Michigan lawmakers are tasking themselves with creating a guide for people to transition safely back to work. Additionally, House Speaker Lee Chatfield believes the state should consider reopening some businesses that can operate safely.
Michigan now has 18,970 confirmed cases and 845 deaths reported from the virus.