State government stays closed amid cold snap
The State House and Senate have cancelled their Thursday session day, making Tuesday the only day they’ve met this week. This is due to the ongoing cold snap across the state. Lawmakers are expected to return for session on Tuesday, February 5.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer also says that state government offices will remain closed through Thursday. Earlier this week, Whitmer declared a state of emergency citing the dangerously cold temperatures. Additionally, all Secretary of State offices in Michigan will remain closed through Thursday. Any hearing or appointment scheduled for Thursday will be adjourned.
Whitmer checks in on emergency command center
Governor Gretchen Whitmer stopped by the State’s Emergency Command Center Wednesday morning to see how officials were responding to the first day of frigid temperatures.
Whitmer received briefings from agency officials responding to the severe winter weather.
She says she declared a state emergency because she wanted people to understand the seriousness of the extreme cold.
“We just want to make sure people understand the severity of the weather out there. And that, they are prepared," says Whitmer. "It’s not just the person who’s risking it by getting outside, it’s our first responders who may have to show up on the scene.”
Captain Emmit McGowan is with the Michigan State Police. He says local communities are handling all requests for help for now, but the state police are ready to step in if they’re needed.
"During this emergency, the locals have this wrapped. We’re just in a ready position," says McGowan.
Governors in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois have also declared state emergencies to handle the extreme cold. Whitmer is advising people to stay inside, check on neighbors, and dial 2-1-1 if they need assistance.
Temperatures are predicted to rise on Friday.
Nessel warns energy providers against price gouging during cold snap
The state Attorney General’s office wants propane users to be on alert for price gouging during this cold snap.
Several years ago, during the last polar vortex, the state Attorney General’s office received hundreds of complaints about energy price gouging.
The office investigated two major propane companies and reached settlements for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Now Attorney General Dana Nessel is putting energy companies on notice.
Kelly Rossman-McKinney is a spokeswoman for Nessel. She says the office will hold price gougers accountable.
“The message really is, we’re counting on you to deliver the product that you committed to, at a price that you committed to.”
The AG’s office says the current statewide average price for propane is about $2 per gallon.