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Republican leaders call Legislature back to Lansing

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey

Republican leaders have called for the Legislature to return to the state Capitol Tuesday. There’s nothing official on the House or Senate calendars. But lawmakers could vote this week on extending Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 emergency declaration.

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clark Lake) told a conference call Monday with business people he’d like to move faster to re-open businesses.

“I think we have a difference of opinion on whether or not that picture is indicating that we should start sooner, and some people would look at that picture and say it’s not complete enough, and we need to hold off a little longer, and that goes back to appetites for risk,” he said.

The governor’s emergency declaration expires Thursday. And she’s asked for a 28-day extension. But Whitmer also says she retains some emergency powers whether or not the Legislature approves her request.That is separate from her most recent stay-at-home executive order, which continues through May 15.

Shirkey says a difference remains between Republicans and Whitmer on how quickly to ramp down restrictions to avert the spread of the coronavirus.

“When we get out of bed in the morning and our feet hit the ground, we take risk, and any contemplation of trying to design a culture where there’s zero risk will only result in one predictable, guaranteed outcome. And that is zero freedoms and zero liberties.”

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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