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Rep. Slagh fights to preserve integrity of state’s emergency alert system
RELEASE|September 16, 2020
Contact: Bradley Slagh

Plan would ensure alert system is reserved for true emergencies

State Rep. Bradley Slagh today testified before the House Government Operations Committee in support of his plan to limit the use of the state’s Public Threat Alert System to true emergencies.

Slagh, of Zeeland, said his legislation would ensure the system would only be used to alert the public of the potential for immediate or near immediate loss of life or property and not be used to announce new laws or executive orders that do not involve an imminent threat to the public. He introduced the plan after hearing concerns from residents about the governor’s use of the system to notify people about her executive orders, including the order mandating the use of face masks in all public places in Michigan.

“Whether you agree or disagree with the mask mandate, we should all recognize that re-informing people about an executive order the governor had announced days before is not an emergency,” Slagh said. “Overusing the alert system is going to cause people to become numb to legitimate emergencies in the future.”

Slagh’s legislation, House Bill 6100, would clarify that a public threat must involve a threat likely to lead to an immediate or near immediate loss of life or property. For example, this would include a natural disaster, industrial explosion, train derailment or an announcement of an endangered missing person.

“Many people told me that the governor’s use of the emergency system made them look for a way to turn off the alerts,” Slagh said. “If residents get tired of people ‘crying wolf’ and turn them off, they won’t have valuable and life-saving information when a true emergency takes place.”

House Bill 6100 was approved by the committee, advancing it to the full House for further consideration.

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PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Bradley Slagh testifies before the House Government Operations Committee in support of his plan to preserve the integrity of the state’s emergency alert system.

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