Legislature rejects emergency extension without reasonable, scientific justification
State Rep. Pamela Hornberger has introduced a House resolution rejecting the governor’s state of emergency extension as she has not made available necessary scientific public health data to the Legislature and the people of Michigan justifying her extension.
Under current law, Michigan’s governor may declare a state of emergency for up to 28 days. After 28 days have passed, the governor may not extend the state of emergency without submitting a request to be approved by both the state House and Senate. Gov. Whitmer first declared the current state of emergency on March 10.
Hornberger maintains that the governor’s restrictions on the public have been arbitrary, inconsistent, and without reasonable scientific justification.
“The governor has not provided any data to support her claims that an extension of Michigan’s state of emergency is necessary across all 83 counties of the state, nor has she demonstrated that her statewide suspension of certain activities did not create undue hardships for the people,” Hornberger said. “Without this necessary data, the Legislature will not support her emergency extension. If the governor believes the situation calls for it, she should have no difficulty in supplying the data required by law to merit an emergency order.”
Under Hornberger’s resolution, the governor has three days after the resolution is adopted to compile the following data in a manner easily accessible to the public:
• The daily number of available hospital related beds occupied by all patients since Jan. 1, 2020 separated by in-patient beds, negative air flow beds and intensive care unit beds.
• The daily number of available hospital-related beds occupied by verified COVID-19 patients since Jan. 1, 2020, separated by in-patient beds, negative air flow beds, and ICU beds.
• The daily number of emergency room visits in total and the daily number of emergency room visits by patients testing positive for COVID-19 since Jan. 1, 2020.
• The daily number of verified COVID-19 hospitalization and verified COVID-19 deaths that are related to retirement of nursing homes since Jan. 1, 2020.
• The daily number of verified COVID-19 hospitalization and verified COVID-19 deaths of individuals who have had other pre-existing or underlying health conditions since Jan. 1, 2020, with a separation of those health conditions and a breakout of verified COVID-19 hospitalizations and verified COVID-19 deaths by age, gender, and race.
• The daily number of ventilators available and daily inventories of hospital personal protective equipment since April 9, 2020.
• The number of medical professionals who have been furloughed, had work hours reduces, or received a pay cut since March 10, 2020.
“There exists a system of checks and balances to ensure the voices of the people are heard,” Hornberger said. “Regardless of what she may believe, the governor does not have unilateral power. It’s time for the governor to respect the people of Michigan and the laws that exist to protect them.”
Because COVID-19 has impacted population groups and geographical areas differently, Hornberger believes the state can do better than a one-size-fits-all approach to the situation at hand. She suggests allowing low-risk individuals and those who have recovered from COVID-19, to safely participate in activities following the national guidelines for safety.