Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants 28-day extension of emergency powers

The emergency declaration allows Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to issue executive orders such as her stay-at-home order mandating residents stay inside unless absolutely necessary, the order closing K-12 schools, and the order barring evictions for the duration of the emergency.

April 30 update: Whitmer extends Michigan emergency to May 28, as GOP threatens lawsuit

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday she plans to ask the state Legislature to extend her emergency declaration for 28 more days. 

“It really should be longer than that, but 28 days is another important step,” she said. 

“Just in the last few years, the Flint water emergency was extended twice over 122 days. The Fraser sinkhole [in Macomb County], I think that was extended 56 days,” she said. “We’ve only extended, in a global pandemic, a state of emergency by 23 days.”

The emergency declaration allows Whitmer to issue executive orders such as her stay-at-home order mandating residents stay inside unless absolutely necessary, the order closing K-12 schools, and the order barring evictions for the duration of the emergency. 

She first declared a state of emergency on March 10, when the first cases of coronavirus were discovered in Michigan. The declaration was last extended on April 7 and will expire Thursday, at which point the Legislature would have to extend it again or perhaps allow her to rely on a second law giving her emergency powers without their approval.

It’s unclear whether the Republican-led Legislature would approve her request.

Senate Republicans have “not yet reached consensus,” spokesperson Amber McCann said Monday, while a spokesperson for the House GOP caucus did not immediately respond to request for comment. McCann said GOP leaders have reached out to Whitmer to discuss “conditions surrounding a possible extension.” The Senate is scheduled to meet Tuesday, though nothing is on the agenda as of Monday.

After initially backing Whitmer’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Republican leaders in recent weeks have ramped up criticism of her executive orders. Last week, they approved legislation to weaken her emergency powers, which Whitmer vowed to veto, and have said they oppose extending the state of emergency.

Republicans have said Whitmer’s restrictions unfairly punished rural areas with fewer cases, and the GOP has pushed for a faster economic reopening based on geographic risk.

In recent days, after Whitmer eased her third and loosened recent stay-home order Friday, tensions eased between Republicans and the governor,  Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, said on a tele-town hall hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber Monday.

Whitmer has argued she doesn’t need the Legislature to approve the extension of her powers: There are two laws that give her the ability to declare an emergency.

Only one requires Legislative oversight, but that law protects healthcare workers from any lega liability they may face for services performed at the state’s request.

“I have multiple distinct independent authorities of constitutional and statutory power to keep people safe as the governor of Michigan,” Whitmer said Monday. 

“The emergency powers that I have as governor do not depend on an extension from the Legislature, but the protections for our health care workers do. So it’s better for everyone if we work together to get this right.”

Republicans in the Legislature have made it clear they want a voice in state policies during the pandemic, such as when to reopen the economy.

“There’s no question that we believe any governor… needs to have the ability to maneuver quickly, act quickly in a state of emergency,” Shirkey said Monday. 

“But there also is no question that we have a representative democracy and that after some time the legislature needs to be involved in the execution and response to those kinds of emergencies.”


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Kevin Grand
Mon, 04/27/2020 - 6:27pm

Hey, where was Gov. Karen's facemask?

And more importantly, why did Ms. Beggin feel that this fact wasn't worth reporting to Bridge readers?

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 9:32pm

Not all hearing-impaired individuals know sign language. Many lip read. Hard to do that though if the speaker's wearing a mask. And, if you've ever watched with closed captioning, as I do, you know it can be a total mess with live events.

Kevin Grand
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 7:10am

And this doesn't apply to the rest of Michigan how?

middle of the mit
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 9:57pm

Karen gRand,

{{And this doesn't apply to the rest of Michigan how?}}

Because the rest of Michigan is listening from their homes on screens where the Governor isn't breathing down their throats? And those that need sign language look to these the outlets for their information?

Does that sound reasonable to you?

What's wrong dude?

Can't grasp simple concepts?

So the readers of comments on this site can "assume" you use PPE when you go out in public?

Is it paid for by the Mackinaw Center for Public Destruction?

These are questions that inquiring minds want to know.

Because I have noticed something over the last few years. The 2 BIG newspapers in MI are split, but they use the same service. And over the years I have frequented and do what I do here on this site and most every site I frequent. I look for reader comments.

What have I noticed on the 2 BIG news sites? The more liberal one allows comments and you can use adblocker and still see them! The other?
The more conservative one? I haven't been able to see comments on that site even without adblocker!

Who is making what political? Who is AFRAID of the PUBLIC?

I complain because Bridge occasionally doesn't post my posts literately beating you conservatives into the ground. And then you beat up on Bridge for being partisan.

If kAren gRand had his way, not only would all of my posts be flagged, ALL OF BRIDGE REPORTING WOULD BE FLAGGED. Does everyone understand that?

I would espouse these truths on conservative networks....................but they won't allow me to..

Who wants to talk about FREE SPEECH?

Kevin Grand
Wed, 04/29/2020 - 1:31pm

I don't recall when VP Pence ORDERED people to wear masks?

And since it hasn't been posted yet by The Bridge, there are two problems with "ordering" people to wear masks here in Michigan.

1.) Not everyone can tolerate having a mask on their face for long periods of time (why do you think that there is such a problem with CPAP users). Believe it or not, people do need to venture outside to run personal errands. Businesses fearful of the guv's "orders", more accurately the AG sending out nastygrams, won't make allowances because of her wrath.

2.) You do have people who are deaf out, out in public. I personally don't know ASL and I'll bet that most people don't know ASL (most politicians certainly do not), but I do know that the deaf can get by via lip reading.



Not an easy task when someone is wearing a mask, or afraid to remove their mask because they are afraid of their own government.

middle of the mit
Sun, 05/03/2020 - 5:31am

Ohh screw kAren gRand!!

You can't ask this question:
Kevin Grand
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 7:10am
And this doesn't apply to the rest of Michigan how?

In reply to this statement;
Mon, 04/27/2020 - 9:32pm

Not all hearing-impaired individuals know sign language. Many lip read. Hard to do that though if the speaker's wearing a mask. And, if you've ever watched with closed captioning, as I do, you know it can be a total mess with live events.

And give that answer to your own statement!
Kevin Grand
Mon, 04/27/2020 - 6:27pm

Hey, where was Gov. Karen's facemask?

And more importantly, why did Ms. Beggin feel that this fact wasn't worth reporting to Bridge readers?



You better tell your handlers at the Mackinaw Center for Public Destruction they are going to have to do better than you!!!

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 6:40pm


Confederate Nation
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 7:47am

Yeah, DOWN WITH TRAFFIC LIGHTS! Oh the tyranny!

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 9:06pm

Tough call. This is where the Gov’s arrogance and authoritarian nature come back to bite us all. Despite her dismissive posturing, I think she has heard the opposition. Covid 19 is not going away real soon. Sensible bipartisan leadership is going to be needed. I hope our leaders can rise up to the challenge. Despite misgivings, I would favor a 14 day extension with additional ones to depend on performance. Talk is cheap and I am skeptical. I hope they surprise me.

Eric Snow
Mon, 04/27/2020 - 10:17pm

Every day the economy remains shut down more and more lives are being lost. This government policy is resulting (according to Detroit News and Bridge articles) in a massive rise in suicides, which will continue as the economy gets worse (there is a strong, consistent, and strong correlation between unemployment rate and suicides). Drug abuse and alcohol abuse are skyrocketing. People are delaying cancer screenings, which based on research on past recessions is going to kill tens of thousands. Vaccination rates for a range of other viruses has dropped off- and most of those other viruses kill more people that COVID does or will. We're not talking about economic damage- the debate is about saving lives. And the only way we save lives now is by ending this killer shutdown.

Carmen Svalstad
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 10:46am

I have Congestive Heart Failure and Afib and have an ICD which needs to be checked every 3 mo. My last check was 12/30/19 and am not able to get it checked because I guess Cardiologists are non-essential. I have started retaining fluid to the point where my shoes are tight to put on but cannot get checked. Guess I'll go get exposed to Covid-19 and hope for the best. At least I may get to see a doctor. If our Governor doesn't open up our economy soon there will be nothing to open, nothing but bankruptcy.

Donald J T
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 7:46am

What's the big deal? Nothing a little bleach and Lysol can't cure, but what do I know? I'm not a doctor and I think solar eclipses are pretty cool to watch, straight up, not like wimpy Democrats.


Tue, 04/28/2020 - 12:42pm

A little bleach and Lysol will cure your chronic TDS. But turning off your toxic msm and taking the Red Pill will have much better results for you. Wishing you the best!

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 11:57am

I watched the press conference myself... I think he was suggesting that the US look into ultraviolet blood irradiation treatments. Let's think through which is more possible. One possibility is that the President of the United States is fairly smart and knowledgeable and old enough to remember this treatment from the older days and who has been in briefings on this issue for days and days and days and was suggesting that the US look into alternative forms of treatment. Another possibility is that Trump dumb and told Americans to inject bleach. It's possible that that second one is true, but it's far far more likely that the first one is true. But that's the world we live in now- the unlikeliest of possibilities and the most far-fetched risks are the ones that we believe are true. What happened to America?

Mon, 04/27/2020 - 9:49pm

Whitmer is incompetent, she is a disgrace to the people of Michigan! She is all about GRETCHEN!!! People do the digging and the research, she is trying to pull the wool over Michigan citizens lives!

Jill Hasselbach
Mon, 04/27/2020 - 10:42pm

Whats wrong with this governor? She needs to stop trying to play nazi woman and get Michigan Back To Work.!! We're losing our asses out here, is she trying to start a civil war? Cause thats what the democrats do best is cause division and try to start riots. People Aren't Going To Have Jobs To Go Back To.!!!!!!!!!

Dave N
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 5:35pm

Jill, working people don’t mean squat to Whitmer and her voting block. They want pain inflicted on you. You don’t count. You losing a job is mission accomplished unless you’re a gubmint employee. She’s not very bright, but she knows exactly what she’s doing.

Stunned Citizen
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 8:12am

The data we now have does not support any more extensions!

Who is she getting her direction from?

She needs to do more research.

It’s starting to look like she has an ulterior motive??

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 8:17am

She needs a serious education on how immunology and virology works. This is nonsense!

The data shows we did not need the first extension. The hospitals are closing and out of work! They are ready to handle this.

It has less than 1% fatality rate! Over 99% of fatalities had complications. It’s no worse than the flu in that respect.

Suzanne Scholtens
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 9:57am


Suzanne Scholtens
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 10:10am

Let the scared people stay home, and the Vulnerable! How about the Detroit area residence who don’t affect us who live Northwestern Michigan. Governor Whitmer seems to not realize how diverse this state is! She is not really thinking about ALL Michigan residents. She does not regulate commerce!Does she think she can tell the tourists , which represents a major $ industry that pays her salary, not to come here? Shame on her. Her decisions have NO scientific evidence. Why was it a coved -19 spread deterrent not to ride in a motor boat last week, but this week not? Who the heck is advising her. She is not “ protecting” the residents of Michigan. SHES KILLING US!

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 12:04pm

You don't support equality? Misery must be equaly distributed!

Kristyn Hall
Tue, 04/28/2020 - 10:14am

I hope this debacle costs her reelection in 2022. She is not competent to govern on this scale. She would be better suited to Student Council.

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 10:26am

Gretchen has been doing and excellent job protecting our families and children. At this point in time I am very concerned that our idiot Trump president is tinkering with the idea of opening the schools. No child should have to die for this president to get the picture. As far as the economy...when it is safe your constitutes will be alive and well. and be able to vote!

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 12:07pm

I suggest auto safety be her next push after CVD19. She needs to keep us safe! How many lives would be saved with a 5 MPH speed limit? I'd bet a lot!

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 12:44pm

How about YOU’VE been doing the good job by staying home. She has NO scientific evidence for her decisions! She’s listening to Uninformed masses who voted for her...

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 4:46pm

Eeaaasssy HATER... Trump"LANDSLIDE" 2020

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 9:59pm

Maybe you should look at the mortality numbers by age. This virus kills the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions, again mainly elderly. Children are far more likely to be killed by irresponsible Mothers who blindly follow political hacks like your Governor. Of course it is much easier to regurgitate mindless drivel fed to you by a biased media. Maybe you might want to use the device you’re typing on and do a search on the infection and mortality by age. Then you can at least say Orange Man Bad is killing your Grandmother (or you depending on your age) versus the standard liberal tripe about “the children”.

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 12:01pm

She is doing such a great job, you have the 3rd highest rate in the country. LMAO.
Here is some Science for you. Staying indoors in confined spaces spreads viruses.

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 12:43pm

Based on their own data from the official website, Michigan has been on a downward trend for nearly 20 days now. Even though the number of people tested over the past week has been higher than most other weeks, we have fewer positive results. Based on the data, it would be safe today to allow everyone under 40 years old to go about their normal business since their mortality seems to be relatively low. These would seem to be logical conclusions from the data that is reported. What data are they using to support another 15 days or more of shutdown?

I'm also really curious about how many public employees were laid off and deemed non-essential during this period of time. Since the taxable income has drastically shrunk, how has the government shrunk in order to maintain a balanced approach to spending? If income has gone down, government spending must accordingly go down as well. Basic economics.

Tue, 04/28/2020 - 5:28pm

Put this tyrant back in her lane right now.

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 1:55am

Thank You for extending the state of emergency for Michigan. I have my 90 year old mother at home with me in Lansing. I am not ready to allow any possible Covod-19 exposure in/around us, for it could be life threatening. Staying at home and Staying Safe allows me to keep both my mother and I COVID-Free

I am as anxious as anyone to get back to work. But, it’s not worth the potential loss of human life.

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 5:15am

Whitmore is ruining everybody lifes she don.t care about anyone looseing jobs or anything else she in it for control. That is it who ever is sueing her I hope they win I lost my grandma and some friends because they could deal with this anymore.

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 8:41am

I am going to start by sharing my credentials. I am a computer scientist. I analyze computer software. Epidemiology models are computer programs based on mathematical modeling. I have also studied mathematical modeling to a lesser extent. There are just a couple of points that I would like to make about the "science" being used.
Epidemiology models do not take into account population density directly. They are actually modeled after the idea that everyone in the sample lives in one big city, with one big hospital. In addition, they have what I call "coin flip" accuracy, a 50/50 shot of actually being accurate. They get less accurate as the sample area gets larger, due to the fact that population density cannot be applied directly. I am not really sure that there is a computer capable of making that calculation in a timely manner.
Second, we have a concept in computer science called "garbage in, garbage out". This just means that if you give a computer program garbage as input, expect garbage to come out as the product. Here is an example. On the State web site, they come right out and say that they are logging any death where COVID is a "contributing" factor as a COVID death. I assume that also this includes car accidents, shootings, and other physical injuries where the actual primary cause of death was not COVID. If these are the numbers going into the models, the projections are guaranteed to be incorrect. Garbage in, garbage out.
My advice is to stop asking doctors to do math, as this is not their field of study.

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 10:26am

I once heard an experienced university modeling expert say: "All models are wrong; but some are useful".

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 11:41am

Hey Bridge,
Get your facts correct.
There isn't any stay inside executive order!

Collin Malacinski
Wed, 04/29/2020 - 12:22pm

Put her in jail... It's time.

Thu, 04/30/2020 - 7:50pm

Go Whitmer! So wonderful to have such a great governor!

Mon, 05/04/2020 - 5:26pm

Is there somewhere I can tell her to kiss my $$$. I didn't need anyone to advise me on how to get to 61, and I sure as H&& don't need or want yours. You're are just being petty, trying to show I'm the boss , well let me tell you Missy you're not the BOSS WE THE PEOPLE ARE YOUR BOSS. You better remember you come back up for re-election in a couple of years and I can promise you , I'll work every single day going door to door to make sure you never run anywhere in Michigan ever again