Senate authorizes legal action against governor, ensures resources, protections available during emergency

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved Senate Resolution 114 and Senate Bill 858, defending the Legislature’s role and extending safety protocols for businesses and public places in states of emergency.

Sen. Peter J. Lucido, R-Shelby Township, issued the following statement after he voted in support of both measures:

“The facts no longer support the necessity of a mass statewide quarantine. Instead of talking about how much longer to keep everyone locked in their homes, we should be working together to find a balance between concerns for public health, the economy and our constitutional rights,” Lucido said. “While one life lost to this virus is too many, a million of our fellow Michiganders are without work because of the state’s response.

“Unfortunately, the governor has rejected, and mocked, the Legislature’s good faith efforts to work together, as co-equal branches of government, on a way to get our state safely back to work. Thursday’s vote should serve as a reminder that the people have a voice and it will be heard — in the courts if necessary.”

SR 114 authorizes the Senate Majority Leader to commence legal action on behalf of the Senate to challenge the governor’s authority and actions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

SB 858 would put several COVID-19 executive orders into law and extend those that need to continue to help efforts to fight the virus and deal with its impact.

Among the 28 orders included in SB 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 also would set certain health standards for businesses, places of public accommodation, and places of public service that are open for in-person work through May 30. The standards include following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention social distancing guidelines, enhanced cleaning provisions and personal protective equipment for employees, avoiding the sharing of tools and equipment, and promoting remote work.

The bill does not include or extend the state of emergency declaration or the governor’s stay-at-home order (EO 2020-59).

SB 858 now goes to the governor.