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Lawmakers mull limits on state emergency alerts

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

State lawmakers are weighing limitationson what kinds of messages can be placed on the state’s emergency alert system.

The system is used to send messages to Michigan residents’ mobile phones about endangered children and natural disasters.

But State Rep. Bradley Slagh (R-Zeeland) says when the governor used it last summer to inform Michiganders about the state’s mask mandate, that was inappropriate.

"Whether you agree or disagree with a mask mandate, the concern for me and for many is the overuse of a system that’s designed to truly protect our people,” says Slagh.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s spokesman suggests legislators should focus instead on passing the governor’s $5 billion COVID-19 recovery plan.

Last week, the state Senate passed a much smaller $2 billion package.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.