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2020 Senate Bill 858: Reduce time limit on governor’s emergency powers
Introduced by Sen. Tom Barrett (R) on April 16, 2020
To reduce from 28 days to 14 days the duration of a disaster or emergency declaration by a governor, at which time the legislature may vote to extend it for a specific number of days. This law (Public Act 390 of 1976) is one of two laws that give the governor the authority to assume extraordinary powers during an emergency, including the statewide “lockdowns” ordered under the 2020 coronavirus epidemic. See also Senate Bill 857 and House Bill 5713, to repeal the state’s other emergency powers law (Public Act 302 of 1945), which contains no provision limiting how long a governor may retain emergency powers that he or she has assumed.   Official Text and Analysis.
Referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee on April 16, 2020
Motion by Sen. Peter MacGregor (R) on April 24, 2020
That the Committee on Government Operations be discharged from further consideration of the bill, and it be sent to the full Senate for immediate consideration.
The motion passed 22 to 15 in the Senate on April 24, 2020.
    See Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No".
To reduce from 28 days to 14 days the duration of a disaster or emergency declaration by a governor, at which time the legislature may vote to extend it for a specific number of days. This law (Public Act 390 of 1976) is one of two laws that give the governor the authority to assume extraordinary powers during an emergency, including the statewide “lockdowns” ordered under the 2020 coronavirus epidemic. See also Senate Bill 857, to repeal the state’s other emergency powers law (Public Act 302 of 1945), which contains no provision limiting how long a governor may retain emergency powers that he or she has assumed.
Received in the House on April 28, 2020
Referred to the House Government Operations Committee on April 28, 2020
Substitute offered by Rep. Jason Sheppard (R) on April 30, 2020
To adopt a version of the bill that establishes new end-dates for many of Gov. Whitmer's epidemic-response executive orders; see House-passed vote for details.
The substitute passed by voice vote in the House on April 30, 2020
To amend a 1976 “Emergency Management Act,” one of two state laws that grant extraordinary emergency powers to a governor. This law limits these powers to 28 days unless extended by the legislature, which on the same day as this vote the legislature declined to do. This make makes Gov. Whitmer’s exercise of emergency powers more reliant on a 1945 “Emergency Powers of Governor” law, which does not limit how long a governor may retain these powers and does not require legislative approval.
The bill does two things. It essentially “writes into” this law (“incorporates by reference”) the current coronavirus epidemic executive orders that have been imposed under its authority, but with different termination dates for many than in the governor’s order. In general, orders that are more restrictive of business reopening get earlier end-dates, and ones easing state regulations (including those on medical care providers and facilities) are extended for a longer time. Bars and restaurants could reopen with social distancing protocols on May 16 under the bill.
Second, it adds to this law “social distancing” protocols for businesses and public accommodations that are somewhat more general and flexible than those in the current orders.

On the day the bill passed an angry breakdown occurred in lockdown-easing negotiations between Michigan's Republican Senate Majority Leader. This bill will not be signed by the governor and will not go into law, but may be significant as a political statement from the majority party in a co-equal branch of government, the legislature..

Received in the Senate on April 30, 2020
To amend a 1976 “Emergency Management Act,” one of two state laws that grant extraordinary emergency powers to a governor. This law limits these powers to 28 days unless extended by the legislature, which on the same day as this vote the legislature declined to do. This make makes Gov. Whitmer’s exercise of emergency powers more reliant on a 1945 “Emergency Powers of Governor” law, which does not limit how long a governor may retain these powers and does not require legislative approval.
The bill does two things. It essentially “writes into” this law (“incorporates by reference”) the current coronavirus epidemic executive orders that have been imposed under its authority, but with different termination dates for many than in the governor’s order. In general, orders that are more restrictive of business reopening get earlier end-dates, and ones easing state regulations (including those on medical care providers and facilities) are extended for a longer time. Bars and restaurants could reopen with social distancing protocols on May 16 under the bill.
Second, it adds to this law “social distancing” protocols for businesses and public accommodations that are somewhat more general and flexible than those in the current orders.

On the day the bill passed an angry breakdown occurred in lockdown-easing negotiations between Michigan's Republican Senate Majority Leader. This bill will not be signed by the governor and will not go into law, but may be significant as a political statement from the majority party in a co-equal branch of government, the legislature.

Motion by Sen. Peter MacGregor (R) on April 30, 2020
That the bill be given immediate effect.
The motion failed 22 to 16 in the Senate on April 30, 2020.
    See Who Voted "Yes" and Who Voted "No".
Vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on May 4, 2020
Received in the Senate on May 7, 2020
Referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee on May 7, 2020

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