Gov. Whitmer’s Ability to Send Emergency Alerts to Your Phone May Soon Be Limited
You may soon be getting fewer emergency alerts on your phone thanks to new legislation proposed in Lansing. Under a bill approved by the Michigan Senate, Governor Whitmer's ability to send emergency notifications to Michigan residents' cellphones and broadcast stations would be limited to situations that present immediate or near immediate loss of life or property.
The bill was previously approved by the Michigan House earlier this year.
Republican lawmakers have taken issue with Whitmer's use of the system at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic when a message was sent to remind residents of Michigan's stay home order that was put in place in March of 2020.
The system was activated again in June of 2020 when the governor's office sent a message about wearing masks.
"From the Governor's Office: Fight COVID by wearing a mask. Michiganders are REQUIRED by executive order to wear face coverings in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. Businesses must refuse entry to those who do not wear a face covering (with limited exceptions). More info: Michigan.gov/MaskUp.
Rep Bradley Slagh sponsored the bill, noting that overuse of the system could cause people to become numb to the warnings.
"Many people told me that the governor’s use of the emergency system made them look for a way to turn off the alerts,” Slagh said in a statement last year. “If residents get tired of people ‘crying wolf’ and turn them off, they won’t have valuable and life-saving information when a true emergency takes place.”
"The governor certainly believed that there was an immediate threat of ... loss of life or property at the beginning of this pandemic."