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Health

Gov. Whitmer declares state of disaster in Michigan, asks to extend emergency powers

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of disaster in Michigan. And she is asking the Legislature to extend her emergency powers to deal with the coronavirus outbreak that’s claimed more than 300 lives in Michigan.

Governor Whitmer sent a letter to House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake). She asked the Republican leaders to call votes to extend emergency powers she’s exercised on her own until now.

This includes the power to close businesses deemed non-essential and to require non-essential employees to stay home to avoid spreading the coronavirus.

The Legislature’s next scheduled session day is tuesday April 7. The governor asked for a 70-day extension of her emergency authority, but it’s not clear if the Republican leadership will agree to that. They may prefer a shorter period of time.

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