Michigan Governor Gretchen Whiter (D) announced on Friday morning that her stay-at-home order will be extended to May 15, although some restrictions in the original order will be lifted.
The new order says that certain businesses will be permitted to resume operations, and outdoor activities including golf and boating will be allowed, with social distancing guidelines still encouraged. Gov. Whitmer’s order mandates that those in an enclosed public space wear a mask if medically possible.
Gov. Whitmer’s executive action has become the spectacle of national criticism, given the severity of the restrictions present in her stay-at-home order, which is one of the strictest thus far. The GOP majority in Michigan's state legislature is examining laws, including the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act and Emergency Management Act of 1976, which give Gov. Whitmer such vast powers. As The Detroit Free Press notes, Gov. Whitmer promised a veto of any bill that would relax the governor's executive power:
"Of course, I will veto bills that they send over to limit the executive power. I've been very clear about that from day one...Those blatant power grabs are bad in good times and dangerous in times of crisis," Gov. Whitmer said.
The legislature also seeks to create a committee to oversee Gov. Whitmer's COVID-19 action, as the Speaker of Michigan's state house says:
The House & Senate will convene tomorrow to create a special oversight committee on COVID-19 to examine our government’s response. Michigan needs to handle this pandemic seriously yet properly. It’s what the people deserve, and we will see that it happens. #InThisTogether— Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) April 23, 2020
Gov. Whitmer promised again on Friday that she would not sign any legislation that would limit the governor’s executive power:
Gov. Whitmer’s executive order remains one of the most strict nationwide.
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