Power struggle between Michigan governor, Legislature ends with Executive Order extending State of Emergency

Gov. Whitmer uses powers to sign order


LANSING, Mich. – A power struggle between Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature over a State of Emergency declaration extension resulted in the governor using her powers to extend it herself.

Whitmer signed an Executive Order extending both the State of Emergency and State of Disaster through May 28. Both of these declarations are related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The original State of Emergency declaration was set to expire at midnight Friday.

MORE: Extending State of Emergency is not the same thing as extending stay-at-home order

The Republican-led Legislature refused to extend the declaration. Whitmer was asking for a 28 day extension before she extended it herself.

Whitmer used the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 to extend the order.

Earlier this week, the Legislature threatened not to extend the State of Emergency if Whitmer did not move more quickly to reopen the state.

READ: Republican leaders want reopening plan to move more quickly before they extend State of Emergency

When Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order last week, she loosened some restrictions, allowing some workers, including landscapers and people who work for lawn-service companies, plant nurseries and bike repair shops, could get back to work.

That new order also allowed big box stores to reopen areas previously restricted, such as areas selling paint and carpet.

VIEW: Here’s what was reopened in the revised stay-at-home order

Whitmer introduced her blueprint for reopening the state -- the “MI Safe Start Plan” -- on Monday. However, that plan did not provide dates or specifics for when businesses and certain industries could resume.

Read more about that plan here.

It wasn’t enough for the Legislature, as leaders have been calling for construction and non-emergency medical procedures to resume.

Whitmer announced on Wednesday that construction work can resume May 7.

In the meantime, the stay-at-home order is in effect until May 15.

RELATED: Court rules stay-at-home order does not infringe on constitutional rights

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