LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Kim LaSata on Thursday voted to ensure critical resources and protections continue as the state battles COVID-19 coronavirus and defend the Legislature’s role in states of emergency.
“People realize the COVID-19 coronavirus is likely to be in Michigan for a long time, and they deserve to have a say in decisions that affect them sooner rather than later,” said LaSata, R-Bainbridge Township. “We did not extend the governor’s state of emergency or her stay-at-home executive order. Instead, we acted to extend safety protocols and protections for front-line health care workers, businesses and in public places that should continue while we fight the virus.”
The Senate sent the governor legislation that would put several COVID-19 executive orders into law and maintain those that need to continue to help efforts to fight the virus and deal with its impacts. Among the 28 orders included in Senate Bill 858 are those regarding expanded unemployment benefits (EO 2020-57), distance learning for schools (EO 2020-35), and liability protections for health care workers treating patients in innovative ways (EO 2020-39).
The bill does not include or extend the state of emergency declaration or the governor’s stay-at- home order (EO 2020-59).
The Senate also approved Senate Resolution 114 authorizing the body to challenge in court any executive actions taken by the governor after the Legislature’s state of emergency extension expires on May 1.
“I’ve received hundreds of calls from my constituents seeking clarification on the governor’s confusing, unilateral executive orders. Now, with nearly one million workers out of a job, it is time for the governor to work with the Legislature on how to best fight the spread of COVID-19 and safely reopen Michigan’s economy,” LaSata said. “The people have a voice, and the co-equal branch of government that represents their voice must be heard.”