Senate Bill 1: Requiring legislative approval of DHHS emergency orders beyond 28 days

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Lana Theis introduced Senate Bill 1 on Wednesday to limit emergency orders issued by the state Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to 28 days and require that any extension of such orders receive legislative approval before taking effect.

“Unelected and unaccountable DHHS bureaucrats continue to implement freedom-restricting emergency orders that disrupt and threaten the livelihoods of hardworking Michiganders,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “The state Supreme Court made it clear that even after declaring an emergency, Gov. Whitmer does not have the right to extend such orders without legislative approval, and a state employee certainly shouldn’t be able to either. Senate Bill 1 will ensure the people have a say in the matter, and I urge my colleagues’ and the governor’s support.”

SB1 would reform the state health code to clarify that DHHS emergency health orders would only be valid for no more than 28 days unless a request from the department director to extend an order for a specified period is approved by resolution of both the Senate and House of Representatives.

The bill is retroactive to Nov. 15, 2020.

“The introduction of Senate Bill 1 demonstrates that our top priority is to be a voice for citizens struggling to keep their businesses afloat and maintain their livelihoods,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “The past year has been tremendously challenging. Many local businesses have invested time and money into ensuring their establishments meet health and safety regulations only to see their doors forced close and their employees laid off, again. The voice of the people needs to be part of any future strategies to combat the impact of the virus. Senate Bill 1 helps ensure that happens.”

###