LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Lana Theis released the following statement Tuesday after the Legislature adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 24 to approve a 23-day extension of the state of emergency declaration put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
State law requires the Legislature to approve an emergency declaration that lasts beyond the initial 28-day period.
“Today I voiced my support to adopt Senate Concurrent Resolution 24, which will extend Michigan’s state of emergency another 23 days, until April 30, which is in line with federal recommendations,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “In extending the state of emergency 23 days, rather than 70 days, we recognize the serious nature of both the health and economic environment we are in, while also recognizing that no one knows what is in store for us two weeks from now, much less a month or more.
“Legislative oversight is a necessary part of our governmental structure. There are very important questions that should be asked every step of the way, and that process happens best when there is a balance within the decision-making process. Having the agility to reassess the situation at the end of the month ensures that the people, through the Legislature, have a voice in that process.
“My heart is with all the people who have lost loved ones or are battling this terrible disease. I am keeping in mind that everything we do at this point has both health and economic implications for the citizens of my district and the whole of Michigan. These are extraordinarily difficult times, but we will persevere. We are stronger than any of us ever knew.”
Theis also commented on the strict health screening procedures that were put in place at the Capitol.
“The protocols that have been put in place to maintain the CDC guidelines so that we can safely do our jobs for Michigan’s 10 million citizens are unprecedented and well thought out,” Theis said. “I appreciate the extent to which the precautions were implemented as well as the care of the staff to ensure everyone’s health and safety.”
The number of staff members in the Senate chamber was limited to a handful; senators maintained a six-feet distance between themselves and remained standing during session; computers and voting buttons were not used; and before entering the Capitol, everyone was required to pass a health screening administered by the Michigan State Police with the assistance of medical professionals.