LANSING, Mich. — The state Legislature on Tuesday approved a resolution to extend Michigan’s state of emergency through April 30.
“We’ve learned a lot of new information about this virus and how it can be contracted, and it is important that people do their part to keep themselves and their communities safe,” said Sen. Kevin Daley, R-Lum. “While I do not support a 70-day extension at this time, I believe we do need to maintain proper distancing measures for the immediate future as a way to maintain personal safety and limit the spread of the virus.”
The governor last week asked for a 70-day extension of Michigan’s emergency declaration, but many legislators considered that to be too long given the rapidly changing information surrounding COVID-19.
Lawmakers instead approved Senate Concurrent Resolution 24, which expands the governor’s expanded emergency and disaster declaration by 23 days through April 30. The resolution does not require the governor’s signature to take effect.
“I understand that this is an unprecedented time for many folks and unordinary precautions are being taken,” Daley said. “Extending the state of emergency until the end of April is reasonable, follows the federal guidelines and allows the state to react to new information accordingly.
“Like the governor, senators and representatives swear an oath to uphold the Michigan Constitution, which includes a duty to protect public health. I take that oath seriously, as well as my responsibility to represent my constituents during this hour of need.”
The Senate took particular care Tuesday to ensure the safety of all lawmakers and staff. During their time in the building, legislators maintained a distance of six feet between themselves and remained standing during session. Computers and voting buttons were not used, and before entering the Capitol, everyone was required to pass a health screening administered by the Michigan State Police with the assistance of medical professionals.
Daley also stressed the importance of allowing people to return to their daily lives.
“Families and businesses will be feeling the effects of this for months, if not longer. We need to allow people to return to work and their normal lives as soon as it is possible to do so safely. We are all hopeful the outlook for our state is much better by the end of the month, and we can begin a gradual return to normal.”
Note: Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.