LANSING, Mich. — Governor Whitmer signed 3 new executive orders extending the states of emergency and disaster in Michigan, citing legislature from 1945 and 1976.
The first order ends the current state of emergency and disaster declarations for the state, the next two declare new states of emergency and disaster declarations for the state under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 and the Emergency Management Act of 1976.
Whitmer says the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 give the governor the ability to determine a need for a emergency and disaster declarations, while the Emergency Management Act of 1976 gives the governor the ability to extend these declarations.
"The governor will evaluate the continuing need for this order prior to its expiration, and if she determines that an emergency no longer exists, will terminate or extend the state of emergency declared in this order. " The Governor's office wrote. the statement issued Thursday after 8 p.m. says the new Executive Order extending the state of emergency and state of disaster declarations for Michigan will expire on May 28th, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.
The Governor's office also contends that Michigan Senate Bill 858, which attempts to address the duration of executive orders and amend section 3 of the Emergency Management Act of 1976 "does not comply with constitutional requirements."
Whitmer maintains that she will not sign the bill into law as her office states it "constrain[s] her ability to protect the people of Michigan from this deadly virus in a timely manner."
“Today I signed new emergency and disaster declarations using independent sources of statutory authority to make sure our health care workers and first responders have the tools they need to save lives and protect Michiganders,” said Whitmer. “We’re all in this together. Defeating COVID-19 is an all hands on deck moment for our state, and I remain hopeful that Republicans in the legislature will stop the partisan games and start working with me to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”
The governor's office says. though the spread of COVID-19 is slowing, the virus still attacks people as aggressively as ever, citing the over 41,000 confirmed cases and 3,789 deaths attributed to the virus in April.
She acknowledges the economic downturn the business and services closures that have affected Michigan will continue to grow as well, saying the number of unemployed people in Michigan has exceeded rates seen during the Great Depression.
Declaring a state of emergency or disaster allow Michigan to access funds and resources specifically allocated for use during those times.