02 April 2020

Governor Whitmer Issues New Order Declaring State of Disaster and Asks Legislature to Extend the State of Emergency until June 3, 2020

***Information and guidance in client updates was up to date at time of publication. During the pandemic, information and guidance has been changing rapidly. If you have any questions about the information contained in a client update, please contact the author(s) or your Miller Johnson attorney.***

April 1, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued an Executive Order formally declaring the State of Michigan a disaster. At the same time, she sent a letter to the Senate and the House requesting a concurrent resolution that extends the state of emergency she declared on March 10 by seventy (70) days; that is, until June 3, 2020.

Significantly, for this extension to become effective, the legislature in Michigan must take action. Reportedly, the legislature will meet on Tuesday, April 7, to do just that. The legislature will either act to adopt, modify, or reject the Governor’s request to extend the state of emergency by 70 days. The state of emergency the Governor declared on March 10, 2020 will expire on April 8, 2020. The extension would provide the Governor broad authority to continue to act unilaterally through Executive Order, as she has done since March 10, 2020, including the ability to extend Michigan’s shelter-in-place order which is set to expire on April 14, 2020.

During Michigan’s shelter-in-place order we have heard from many organizations about the impact of that order on their communities, their businesses, and themselves. We have heard from individuals and organizations who strongly support the shelter-in-place order, we have heard ambivalence and concern, and we have heard from those who oppose the shelter-in-place order.

The purpose of this Client Update is not to persuade you on any of those positions, but instead, to make sure everyone knows the legislative process so if they so choose they can have their voices heard. The State of Michigan requires legislative action after 28 days for a state of emergency to be continued for the purpose of compelling the branches of the government to work collectively to balance the various interests within our State, with the belief that the best result for our State will be achieved.

Whatever your perspective, we encourage you to contact your senators, congresspersons, associations or lobbyists to have your voice heard before they meet on Tuesday, April 7.