Delayed Again: Bill to Exempt Houses of Worship from Emergency Closures

A bill prohibiting government-mandated emergency closures for worship services has been delayed once again, as the Tennessee General Assembly floor session on Monday. State Representative Chris Todd (R-Madison County) delivered the news on behalf of the sponsor, State Representative Rusty Grills (R-Newbern), requesting that the bill be placed on the next available calendar. No explanation was given for this delay.

As The Tennessee Star reported last week, Grills delayed the bill initially due to concerns from legislators opposed to prohibiting church closures. Two Democratic legislators, State Representatives London Lamar (D-Memphis) and Harold Love, Jr. (D-Nashville) expressed concerns that the bill constrained government authorities from stopping church gatherings during a pandemic or other emergencies.

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Whitmer Extends State of Emergency Order Until October 27

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended Michigan’s state of emergency order on Tuesday, pushing back its end date until October 27.

Whitmer originally declared a state of emergency in Michigan on March 10 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and has continuously extended it since then. She also extended four other executive orders that protect people in prison and long-term care facilities, those who are working in establishments that sell food, and those who are considered at-risk.

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Michigan Legislature Approves 23-Day Extension of Whitmer’s Emergency Powers

Michigan legislature voted on Tuesday to approve an extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers through the end of April.

The governor originally asked for a 70-day extension of emergency powers, but Michigan legislators said they felt that was too much.

“I agree that there needs to be an extension; we’re far from being out of the woods on this issue. But I believe 70 days looks too far forward considering the information we have now and how quickly that changes,” said Sen. Rick Outman (R-33-Six Lakes) in a statement. “The best thing to do for the immediate future is continue following suggested protocols and stay at home to keep you, your family and your community safe.”

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