WATCH: Masks required under Gov. Whitmer's new extended stay-at-home order

State Republicans want to create oversight committee
Posted at 4:47 AM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 12:35:20-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a second extension of the stay-at-home order during an 11 a.m. press conference Friday.

Whitmer lengthened her stay-at-home order through May 15 while relaxing restrictions so some businesses can reopen and the public can participate in more outdoor activities like golf and motorized boating.

The new order will require people to wear homemade face coverings and masks when they enter enclosed public spaces. It will also lift some restrictions on outdoor activities and allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back to work.

The current order expires at the end of the month.

And this comes as state Republicans are pushing back — looking to curb the governor’s authority during this state of emergency.

In an effort to try and mitigate the risks of a second wave of COVID-19 hitting Michigan, the governor says an extension needs to happen. She says in order to get back to work safely, Michigan needs to re-open slowly, one step at a time.

“When I say I'm hoping to loosen some restrictions, I mean that I'll only loosen them based on the facts and data are telling when it is safe and how it is safe to do so,” said Gov. Whitmer.

But first, Friday — the governor is expected to announce an extension of the current stay-at-home order, which right now is good through the end of April.

Meanwhile, members of the Republican-controlled House and Senate plan to meet in-person in Lansing Friday — in part to form an oversight committee looking into the governor’s handling of the shutdown.

“After the 28 days, does the governor have carte blanche on going ahead and keeping the state of emergency in place? We don't believe that she does," said Republican state Senator Pete Lucido.

“We've turned people's lives upside down with this, and I think we, they deserve to have a mechanism where they can go in and have a conversation and dig into how were these decisions made," said Republican state Rep. Shane Hernandez, representing Port Huron.

State senators will take up two bills — both aimed at curbing the governor’s power during the health crisis .

Whitmer says when it comes to deciding how and when to lift restrictions – she’ll rely on the facts.

“It will have to be very thoughtful and precise," said Gov. Whitmer. "Mitigating risk to all and mitigating a risk of a second wave, but we will start to re-engage.”

Lawmakers meeting in-person in Lansing Friday will have their temperatures checked on the way into the capitol.

Top Democrat in the Senate, Minority Leader Jim Ananich says Friday’s sessions are just a political distraction. Again, details on that extended stay-at-home order expected later on Friday morning.

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