LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers plan to meet Tuesday to consider extending a statewide emergency declaration during the coronavirus pandemic, but are divided over the safety and necessity of convening.
Republicans who control the Legislature say they must act now because Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency declaration expires Tuesday. But Democrats say it does not lapse because she issued a declaration last week that also includes a new disaster declaration, meaning legislators do not have to vote until April 29.
Republicans plan to extend the emergency by 23 days, through April 30. Whitmer says it should be extended by 70 days, until mid-June.
During the emergency, Whitmer has closed schools, businesses and ordered people to stay home to curb the spread of the virus — with exceptions to buy food, exercise outside, work remotely or to work in person in certain critical jobs.
The Legislature is implementing screening and distancing procedures to limit lawmakers from potential exposure on Tuesday. Two legislators have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, while a third has died of suspected COVID-19.
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