Debate Over Extending State Virus Emergency Is Heating Up
We might want to get ready for some fireworks at the state capitol. Governor Gretchen Whitmer cannot extend her original Emergency Order past 28 days. She needs to ask the legislature for support. She has done that with a request for a 70-day extension. Republicans controlling both the state House and Senate aren’t so sure that much time is needed to clear the COVID-19 situation. Indications are both chambers will pursue a shorter 23 day period which coincides with the Trump Administration’s current virus guidelines. State lawmakers are set to meet in session tomorrow. It will be the first they’ve convened since the middle of last month. When lawmakers meet tomorrow, there appears little chance the majority will support the Governor’s request for another 70 days of emergency control over the state. A Whitmer administration spokesperson claims the Legislature's plan to approve a shorter emergency timetable is in conflict with the law. The Governor’s office claims the legislature may only approve or disapprove of the request but may not offer an alternate plan.
Without legislative support is the Governor allowed to reissue Emergency declarations? There are some who believe the answer is yes. Legislative leaders are adamant the answer is no. We may get a chance to see which branch of state government prevails. And it might get very testy.