Michigan Senate Votes to Extend State of Emergency Declaration
State senators have approved adding 23 additional days to the emergency declaration.
It is a session day like no other at the state capitol.
The state Legislature has to vote to extend the state of emergency declaration for the governor.
With that brings challenges as a full House session would include more than 100 members and their staff in one room.
The Legislature had to come in to vote.
The governor’s state of emergency expires Tuesday and the only way to extend it would be a legislative vote.
The state constitution does not allow for virtual or remote voting but there is some wiggle room that the House and Senate are taking advantage of.
To vote, the House only needs a quorum — a majority of representatives present.
Seventy representatives were scheduled in 15 minute windows to come in, no more than five at a time, declare themselves present and then leave.
Once a quorum is established, a voice vote of just four members will be taken and counted.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer requested a 70 day extension lasting until mid-July. The Legislature will allow her 23 more days until the end of April and then they will reassess.
The Senate also voted to pass the motion. With much fewer members, they were able to meet and vote in about 15 minutes.
Governor Whitmer has the power to put these executive orders in place while under this state of emergency. This extension now allows her to continue to use these powers, like an extension to the stay-at-home order that is expected to come later this week.