In a series of executive orders, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the state of emergency through May 28, poising herself for a standoff with lawmakers.

According to Republican legislators, only the legislature has the power to extend a state of emergency while the governorship does not.

More from CBS:

Whitmer used one executive order to terminate Michigan’s current state of emergency, which was set to expire Thursday night, and cited two emergency powers laws, one from 1945 and another from 1976, as the legal basis for unilaterally extending the state of emergency. Whitmer indicated she will continually evaluate the need for both executive orders and will “terminate the states of emergency and disaster if the threat or danger has passed.”

The state of emergency gives Whitmer the authority to issue executive orders related to coronavirus, such as a stay-at-home order which is in effect until May 15. On Thursday night, Whitmer also signed an executive order keeping bars, gyms, casinos and theaters closed and only allowing restaurants to do delivery or takeout service through May 28.

GOP legislative leaders say the legislature has the authority to extend the state of emergency, not Whitmer, and declined to do so Thursday. Republicans have pushed back against some aspects of the stay-at-home order and urged Whitmer to restart parts of the state’s economy soon.

Republicans offered two, on-week extensions in exchange for an agreement that future extensions be approved by the legislature. Whitmer rejected the deal.

Lawmakers in both state houses passed resolutions “giving their leaders power to to take legal action against Whitmer over her coronavirus response,” reports CBS.

“Any attempt by Governor Whitmer to unilaterally extend the states of emergency and disaster past April 30, 2020, without legislative approval would be contrary to both law and Michigan’s constitutional system,” both resolutions say.

On the Senate floor Thursday night, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, a Republican, indicated a court battle would be coming.

“If she does not recognize the end of the emergency declaration, we have no other choice but to act for our constituents,” Shirkey said.

Whitmer’s office said in a press release that she intends to veto a bill passed by the Legislature on Thursday which would have codified some of her coronavirus executive orders until their expiration dates. The bill would not have extended the state of emergency and did not codify her stay at home order.


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