Governor Kate Brown has again extended her declaration of a state of emergency regarding COVID-19 for an additional 60 days, the governor’s office announced on Tuesday.
This is the second time Gov. Brown has extended the state of emergency declaration. The governor first did so in June, just before the Fourth of July weekend and was scheduled to end on Sept. 4.
The decision to extend the state of emergency again was in part due to Labor Day weekend and students beginning a new school year, according to the governor.
“When I last extended the COVID-19 state of emergency in June, I told Oregonians that we were at a crossroads: we could work together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Oregon, or we could watch infections and hospitalizations spike,” Gov. Brown said. “Now, six months after this crisis began, we have made progress. Together, we have slowed the spread of this disease. Oregon has one of the lowest mortality rates in the country. But, as students across Oregon begin a school year far different than any other before, it is clear that, at current COVID-19 levels, it will not be safe in much of the state for children to return to in-classroom instruction for months to come.”
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Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia often noted that the primary safeguard of our constitutional liberties is the structure of our government. Every banana republic has a bill of rights, he once said, but the strength of the American system is the separation of powers.
At the federal level, there are three separate, co-equal branches of government that must operate together for our representative republic to function properly, and this balance of power is mirrored at the state level. Unhappily, our system today is not functioning as designed.
Since March, the separation of powers has been off-kilter, shifted disproportionately to state executives, who are ruling outside the boundaries of their proper authority. In a moment of national panic, Americans permitted their state and local executives to take power—to declare states of emergency and to implement lockdowns—and now those executives won’t give that power back.
The Michigan House adjourned Thursday afternoon without taking up an extension of the state’s coronavirus state of emergency, setting the stage for a legal fight between Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-led legislature.
Michigan’s state of emergency is due to expire at the end of the day April 30. The emergency declaration gives the governor additional powers to issue executive orders during an emergency situation.
Whitmer contends she retains emergency authority during the COVID-19 pandemic regardless of what the Legislature does, but Republican lawmakers critical of the administration’s COVID-19 response maintain a 1976 law requiring the governor to seek legislative approval for an emergency after 28 days applies in this case.
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YUMA, Ariz. — Mayor Douglas Nicholls announced a state of emergency Tuesday in Yuma, Arizona, due to the large amount of asylum-seeking migrants being released into the city.
Yuma is the first border city to declare a state of emergency in response to the influx of migrant families coming to the U.S.-Mexico border seeking asylum.
The U.S. Border Patrol has been releasing migrants to Yuma’s shelter system over the last few weeks.
Sri Lanka declared a nationwide state of emergency for 10 days on Tuesday to stop the spread of communal violence, a government spokesman said, after clashes erupted between majority Buddhists and members of the minority Muslim community.
Tension has been growing between the two communities in Sri Lanka over the past year, with some hardline Buddhist groups accusing Muslims of forcing people to convert to Islam and vandalizing Buddhist archaeological sites.
Some Buddhist nationalists have also protested against the presence in Sri Lanka of Muslim Rohingya asylum-seekers from mostly Buddhist Myanmar, where Buddhist nationalism has also been on the rise.
“At a special cabinet meeting, it was decided to declare a state of emergency for 10 days to prevent the spread of communal riots,” government spokesman Dayasiri Jayasekara told Reuters.
Hurricane Irma has strengthened to a Category 5 storm and catastrophic damage is possible in the Florida Keys and southern Florida this weekend, as a second storm has formed behind it.
Irma is packing 180 mph winds and gusts up to 220 mph as of 11 a.m. ET Tuesday and is expected to continue churning with deadly hurricane-force winds and a dangerous storm surge across a wide swath of the Caribbean this week before moving toward southern Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in the state as rapidly growing Hurricane Irma, now a Category 4 storm, is expected to make landfall later this week.
The state of emergency has been issued for all of Florida’s 67 counties. Scott said that the state would “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” as Irma is expected to hit the state around Friday.
The governor tweeted Monday that he urges “all Floridians to remain vigilant and stay alert to local weather and news and visit FLGetAPlan.com today to get prepared.”