The Michigan Assembly has repealed legislation that granted Democrat Governor Gretchen Whitmer unprecedented power during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The ruling came after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the governor’s powers were unconstitutional.
The Detroit Free Press reported:
The Republican-controlled state House on Wednesday voted 60-48 largely along party lines in support of initiative petition language that repeals the Emergency Powers Act of 1945. The vote came one week after the state Senate also approved the initiative.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used the law to issue sweeping health and safety restrictions in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, moves that eventually garnered pushback from Republicans and other opponents.
“Hundreds of thousands of our families, friends, and neighbors changed Michigan forever when they decided they had enough and stood up to make a difference,” Republican Speaker Jason Wentworth said.
“They deserve a state government that is willing to do the same. They’ve earned that much. That’s why we had their back today and put this petition into law,” he said.
Democrats opposed repealing the rule, arguing that it is necessary and that voters should be asked as an issue on the ballot.
Because the House voted for immediate implementation but the Senate did not, the law will go into effect 90 days after the current legislative session finishes.
The House passed it by a vote of 60-48 on Wednesday, and the Senate approved it by a vote of 20-15 on July 15.
“Our Unlock Michigan citizen army collected over 540,000 signatures in just 80 days. Now, 292 days later, we’ll complete our mission with a final vote in the Legislature to end Gov. Whitmer’s rule by decree,” Unlock Michigan petition drive Fred Wszolek said.
“Next we’ll turn our attention to the public health law Whitmer abused to destroy lives, businesses, and futures. Don’t bet against our success there either.”
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in June that the Board of State Canvassers has to certify an initiative to repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act.
“The court has it exactly right — the Board of State Canvassers had a clear legal duty to certify what was obvious, that we had collected far more signatures than required,” Unlock Michigan spokesman Fred Wszolek said. Unlock Michigan was the group the sponsored the petition drive.
“We urge the Michigan House and Senate to act promptly to finally strike this awful law from the books forever,” he said.
“The Michigan Supreme Court has opened the floodgates for illegal conduct including forgeries, leaving petitions unattended, circulators lying about their activities, and more if this decision stands,” Keep Michigan Safe attorney Mark Brewer said.
“Rather than allowing the board to investigate and holding petition gathering efforts accountable, this decision will unleash rampant illegalities and criminal misconduct in future ballot initiatives and embolden even more brazen illegal actions in the years ahead,” he said.