COVID-19

Supreme Court ruling would make Michigan the only state without an emergency declaration

The state's top court struck down the governor's emergency powers. Now officials wonder what effect that could have on COVID efforts.

Every state in the U.S. has some form of emergency order in place to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, according to the National Governor’s Association. Depending on state rules, they’re classified differently, but all result in increased government powers to establish rules to prevent the spread of the virus.

Within the next few weeks Michigan will no longer be one of them.

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The state’s Supreme Court last week ruled that Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency declaration was unconstitutional. She cited court rules to continue the state of emergency until October 23 and other state authorities have issued orders extending pieces of her executive orders.

The effect of the removal of the governor’s emergency powers is still up in the air, according to an article on MLive. The Republican-led legislature plans to consider continuing some rules, such as allowing public boards to meet virtually. But they are unlikely to continue some of the most impactful of the governor’s orders, such as the mask mandate.

The state not having a state of emergency could also mean it won’t be able to leverage federal emergency funding. And it could cancel out the governor’s order allowing people to qualify for unemployment payments beyond 20 weeks.

You can read the full story here.

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