Republican lawmakers have killed a law that underpinned coronavirus restrictions issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020, after Michigan's Supreme Court declared the measure unconstitutional.
The Democratic governor is powerless to veto the citizen-initiated bill. A group that organized the ballot drive now is targeting a different law that enabled her administration to keep restrictions intact.
The Republican led House voted 60-48 Wednesday to repeal the law that gave governors broad emergency powers.
State Rep. Michele Hoitenga, of Manton, issued the following statement after the Michigan House approved the Unlock Michigan citizens’ initiative.
“This is an important day in the history of the state. People across Michigan came together utilizing a constitutional approach and told state government their voices were not being heard as one person ruled alone. I’m pleased to support this measure and repeal an emergency powers law that had an impact on so many people during our state’s response to COVID-19.
“Legislators know their communities best. They talk with people and their families in neighborhoods or at the corner diner – formulating solutions based on questions and concerns they hear or experiences people have. When Gov. Whitmer worked around the Legislature to craft directives, that process was taken away. The people lost as a result.
“But they won today. And it’s a win going forward for Michigan as the balance of state government will be preserved.”
A separate law remains in place. It lets a governor to declare an emergency, but it cannot last for longer than 28 days without legislative approval.