3 new orders in effect after armed protestors demand reopening at capitol

Posted at 4:46 AM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 11:27:56-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michiganders are waking up to three new executive orders Friday morning, after a major political showdown in the state’s capitol.

First, hundreds of protesters – some armed – stormed the capitol, angry over restrictions like the stay-at-home order, which is still in place.

GOP lawmakers refused to extend a state of emergency, and passed a measure that would allow them to sue Governor Gretchen Whitmer over her use of executive power during the pandemic.

The governor cited different legal authority, and issued a new and separate state of emergency and disaster.

A lot happened both inside and outside of the state house building in Lansing Thursday. And as the GOP moves to curb the governor’s executive power, she’s flexing right back — late Thursday night issuing another executive order extending the closure of public spaces like casinos — until May 28.

This, on top of the executive orders she issued as a work around to keep Michigan under a state of emergency.

Angry protesters gathered at the capitol demanding Gov. Whitmer lift the stay-at-home order — in place for another 15 days — and speaking out against her push to extend Michigan’s state of emergency, something the Republican-controlled legislature refused to pass Thursday night.

What they did pass? A measure that would allow them to sue the governor over her use of executive power during this health crisis.

"It's time for representing government, we need to make sure we don't have one person acting as the legislature and the governor."

The move, denounced by Democrats.

“By moving forward without negotiation or public input, simply a political maneuver to tie the arms of the governor," said Rep. Donna Lasinski, D-52 Ann Arbor.

Gov. Whitmer issued three additional executive orders Thursday, including a new emergency and disaster declaration citing previous laws that give her that authority.

And another, extending the closure of public spaces like gyms, bars, restaurants, and casinos until May 28.

Something business owners, like the owner of Power House gyms are now having to cope with, along with increasing financial losses.

“Politics-wise, I'm not really getting involved in. We obviously want to reopen, we still have a lot of expenses," said the owner.

The previous state of emergency expired at midnight, that’s over. It was implemented under the Emergency Management Act.

For this latest state of emergency and state of disaster declaration, the governor is citing the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 and the Emergency Management Act of 1976.

She’s using those measures as grounds for her authority, something the GOP will surely challenge.

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