Gov. Gretchen Whitmer
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 10, 2020
Governor Whitmer Vetoes Senate Bill 899
LANSING, Mich. -- Today, in order to ensure that patients receive appropriate care during emergencies and disasters, Governor Whitmer vetoed Senate Bill 899.
Senate Bill 899 would make patients receiving treatment at a hospital and residents in nursing homes powerless to seek relief when they are harmed in any but the most egregious cases, regardless of the type of emergency or disaster declared by the Governor. This bill is an overbroad attempt to fix a problem created by the Republican-led legislature’s refusal to acknowledge the state of emergency created by COVID-19 in Michigan.
“Republicans in the legislature refuse to acknowledge that Michigan, along with all fifty state and the federal government, are in a state of emergency and continue to try to block our efforts to address the pandemic. I previously extended special liability protections for certain health care providers during the first peak of COVID-19 to ensure that hospitals did not become overwhelmed, preserving their ability to provide care,” said Governor Whitmer. “Senate Bill 899 would endanger patients and workers unnecessarily, making it nearly impossible to obtain relief from injury during a state of emergency. As always, I will continue to work together with the legislature to protect Michiganders and their families during this crisis.”
The Emergency Management Act provides limited immunity from lawsuits to medical providers, activated only upon an official request, such as Governor Whitmer made at the peak of COVID-19 in Michigan. SB 899 would made this immunity automatic, even when the emergency or disaster did not call for setting aside the normal standards of care.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Mike MacDonald, R-Macomb Township.
To view the veto letter, click the link below: