Michigan governor again extends stay-at-home order amid protests

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Thursday extended the state's stay-at-home order put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus. 

A news release from Whitmer's office noted that the order would expire on May 28. Previously, Whitmer's order was set to expire May 15.

“This is good news for our state, our businesses, and our working families,” said Whitmer. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly."

ADVERTISEMENT

Whitmer's newest order has loosened restrictions on some parts of the state economy.

The order allows Michigan's manufacturing sector to begin operations once again, and puts in place several restrictions for companies such as a ban on nonessential personnel and daily screenings for employees. 

"As we continue to phase in sectors of our economy, I will keep working around the clock to ensure our businesses adopt best practices to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19. When we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly," Whitmer added.

The latest directive from the governor comes just one day after Republican state lawmakers sued Whitmer over a previous extension of the Michigan's state of emergency, arguing that she had usurped power from the state legislature.

“The Legislature did not approve an extension of the state emergency declaration and as such we expected the declaration to end. Instead, we saw the governor ignore the law, unilaterally extend the emergency, and write new executive orders," the lawmakers argued.

A spokesperson for the governor said that the lawsuit is a "partisan game that won't distract the governor." 

The state of Michigan has also attracted national attention recently as protesters, some armed, demonstrated in the state's Capitol while the state legislature was in session. The protesters railed against the governor's stay-at-home order, arguing that it impinges on their personal freedoms, and they want to return to work.