LANSING, Mich. – The standoff in Lansing continued Thursday as Michigan legislators refused Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to extend her coronavirus (COVID-19) state of emergency.
This comes after Whitmer refused to negotiate a quicker timeline for reopening the state.
Meanwhile, a day-long protest took place outside in driving rain. When it moved inside, the rally got even louder.
UPDATE -- April 30, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 41,379; Death toll now at 3,789
The House finished its business and left earlier Thursday afternoon, but the Senate is still working.
A crowd of several hundred protesters parked outside the second-floor House chambers, demanding loudly to be allowed inside. But the gallery is on the third floor, and for social distancing reasons, it’s closed to the public. Protesters stood in place long after the session ended.
When the House got down to business, it wanted to send some messages to Whitmer.
First’ it passed Senate bills limiting Whitmer’s emergency powers. She has promised to veto.
Then, the House passed select bills codifying executive orders already in place to prevent disruptions.
Then, the speaker was given permission to go after Whitmer legally.
“We extended our hand in partnership, but should she not accept that and overstep her constitutional bounds, we also authorized myself, on behalf of the House of Representatives, to file a lawsuit,” House Speaker Lee Chatfield said. “We have three branches of government in Michigan -- executive, judicial and legislative -- and this may have to be settled in court.”
The House adjourned without taking action on the state of emergency, which means it will expire at midnight.