News Bite

What Defines 'State of Emergency?' What The Governor Says It Is

And the governor keeps changing the criteria

Through the act of declaring an official State of Emergency, Michigan law authorizes Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to keep issuing executive orders that can shut down businesses and impose restrictions on society and the lives of residents.

The law does not spell out what constitutes an "emergency," but Whitmer has specified in executive orders a number of vague factors that could be used to keep it going indefinitely.

For example, Executive Order 165 issued on Aug. 7 states, “The health, economic, and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic thus remain widespread and severe, and they continue to constitute a statewide emergency and disaster.”

Whitmer does not define which “health,” “economic,” or “social” criteria might be used to determine whether a genuine emergency is still underway.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.