In an effort to keep Michigan families healthy and safe and ensure the state retains its COVID-19 response leverage, state Rep. Rodney Wakeman today supported a measure continuing the state of emergency and the governor’s emergency powers through April 30 – a period that could later be extended if circumstances surrounding the coronavirus outbreak persist.
Wakeman, of Saginaw Township, said he favored the plan over the 70-day extension proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which would have extended her emergency powers well into June.
“I am pleased to say the Legislature spoke on behalf of the people by extending the EO to the end of April,” Wakeman said. “Many of my constituents told me directly a 70-day extension was far too long and that an extension through April 30 struck a good balance. While the health and safety of Saginaw County families and residents across Michigan is paramount, we must also be cognizant of the potential economic and social damage that a state of emergency extension can cause statewide. When the apex of COVID-19 arrives in Michigan, we need to make sure we are ready to shift our focus to a healthy transition back to normalcy. The action to extend the governor’s state of emergency in shorter increments is more prudent. It allows us to reassess the ever-changing situation more frequently, rather than merely grab large chunks of the calendar.”
In addition to the state of emergency extension, Wakeman said the governor and her administration must do more to help workers and families struggling during mandated business closings and ‘stay home’ orders, such as fixing the state’s broken unemployment filing system and revising emergency rules so businesses that can operate safely within social distancing guidelines are allowed to reopen.
Rep. Wakeman and his staff are working remotely so they can continue to serve residents during the COVID-19 outbreak. People with questions or concerns can reach his office by calling (517) 373-0837 or emailing RodneyWakeman@house.mi.gov.