COVID-19

Governor’s emergency powers end immediately

The state Supreme Court has denied the governor's request to delay its ruling that invalidates her emergency powers.

Michigan’s Supreme Court on Monday denied a request from Governor Gretchen Whitmer to delay the end of her emergency powers. On October 2, the court ruled the governor does not have the power to extend a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

That means all executive orders issued by the governor since March are no longer in effect. The governor had asked that her emergency powers continue until the end of October.

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Some of the governor’s executive orders meant to stem the spread of the coronavirus have since been reissued by the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). That includes orders requiring masks in public places and restricting public gatherings.

Other orders will now expire. That includes orders extending unemployment benefits beyond 20 weeks. The governor stated that puts 830,000 Michiganders at risk of losing unemployment payments.

“This represents a significant potential disruption to the livelihoods of the people of Michigan in a time of great public crisis,” wrote Justice Richard Bernstein in his dissent of the ruling. Bernstein was the only Justice to vote in favor of granting the governor’s delay.

The state House and Senate are considering bills that would extend unemployment benefits, but those are tied to controversial legislation that would shield businesses from lawsuits related to COVID-19.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.

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