“I agree that there needs to be an extension; we’re far from being out of the woods on this issue. But I believe 70 days looks too far forward considering the information we have now and how quickly that changes,” said Outman, R-Six Lakes. “The best thing to do for the immediate future is continue following suggested protocols and stay at home to keep you, your family and your community safe.”
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.
“State law requires the Legislature to approve an emergency declaration that lasts beyond the initial 28-day period. I think this was a good starting point that addresses the issue for the remainder of the month, while allowing us to revisit the decision should new information become available,” Outman said. “In the meantime, we need to continue limiting the spread of the virus and start looking at ways to safely get people back to their normal daily routines.”
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.
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.