State Rep. Bradley Slagh, of Zeeland, today introduced House Bill 6100 designed to help ensure the state’s Emergency Alert System (EAS) only be used in the event of a true emergency.
The measure stems from recent uses of the system by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to notify Michigan citizens about her executive orders, including her recent order mandating the use of face masks in all public places statewide.
“The EAS was designed to alert people of true emergencies, not to be employed for public service announcements,” Slagh said. “It seems as if our governor has confused the two in an effort to create another convenient medium for publicizing her unilateral mandates. An overuse of the emergency system for non-emergencies sets a dangerous precedent because it will likely cause people to become numb to legitimate emergency alerts – the proverbial ‘boy who cried wolf situation.’”
Slagh’s plan requires Michigan’s EAS to be solely reserved for use by first responders to prevent immediate or nearly immediate loss of life and property. Under the bill, appropriate uses of the alert system would include, but not be limited to alerting the public of acts of terrorism, unresolved mass shootings, natural disasters, industrial explosions, train derailments and announcements of missing endangered individuals. The measure also prohibits the use of the EAS to announce new laws or executive orders unless they are necessary to respond to an immediate or nearly immediate loss of life or property.
“For the safety of our communities, we must reserve the use of our state’s emergency alert system for true emergencies,” Slagh said. “We must preserve the integrity of the system so it is as effective as possible when it’s truly needed”
The legislation, House Bill 6100, is expected to be referred to the House Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee for consideration once formally read into the record.
A group of House Republican legislators today labeled the latest emergency order issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) regarding indoor visitation in nursing homes as a step in the right direction, adding there is still more work to be done.
Rep. Slagh talks about House passage Tuesday of his HB 6100, which amends Michigan’s Public Threat Alert System Act to further define “public threat” and restrict use of the public alert system for the enactment of executive orders or new laws. Rep. Slagh says issuing an alert earlier in 2020 to announce a well-known mask […]
“I have every bit of confidence in our nursing facilities to be able to facilitate impactful visitation opportunities for residents while also prioritizing safety measures and infection control protocols,” Slagh said. “We need to protect our most vulnerable, but we must also explore solutions that account for their quality of life and overall well-being.”