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Republican Senator raises concerns over Governor’s use of emergency alert system

Tony Webs

One Michigan senator said the statewide emergency alert regarding masks was an “abuse” of the statewide system.

On Monday, Governor Whitmer sent out a statewide alert notifying residents that masks are now required in public spaces.

Republican lawmakers say they plan to introduce legislation to restrict how the state’s emergency alert system can be used.

Republican State Senator Peter Lucido is behind efforts to restrict how the emergency alert system is used. He said the Governor’s usage “dilutes” its intended purpose.

“I know that it’s something that she’s trying to educate people on, it’s important to wear a mask and it is important and it is real COVID, but do we need to use the emergency system because it was never contemplated in statute.”

Lucido says the system should only be used for time-sensitive emergencies like tornadoes or floods.

“When we have a state of emergency, a true state of emergency, I hope that people don’t just shut their phone off and say ‘eh, here we go again.’”

Lucido also raised concerns about how the Governor’s executive order handles exceptions to mask wearing requirements.

The Governor’s order said businesses should refuse service to anyone not wearing a face covering - but it makes an exception for anyone “not medically able to tolerate a face covering.”

Lucido said that language is too vague - and puts businesses in an awkward position.

“If you’re going to get an exception how are we going to handle it so that customers know ‘I’m not just following the rule the Governor put in place, I have a legitimate problem I don’t want to disclose to the whole world.”

Lucido said he has filed legislation that he hopes will start a discussion about how these cases should be handled.

The Governor’s Office did not respond to our request for comment.