Unlock Michigan Petition Drive Near Victory
Republican leaders of the Michigan State Legislature say recent actions are showing state residents do have a say in government. Although some say it still isn’t very easy.
State Senators last week were voting along straight party lines to approve the provision from a citizen petition drive to repeal a state law on the books since 1945. The Michigan State House of Representatives gets a crack at it on Wednesday. It’s the law cited by Governor Gretchen Whitmer to stand on as she wrestled control over the state away from the legislature to force all kinds of government controls on residents and businesses over the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Then her extension of the initial time frame is what got her in trouble with the State Supreme Court which ruled her actions unconstitutional.
As far back as last May, Republican Battle Creek State Senator John Bizon was openly criticizing the Governor for her unilateral control actions over the state. Senator Bizon posted a public release in which declared Governor Gretchen Whitmer to be violating state law and disregarding the state constitution.
“I have been disappointed in the governor’s recent disregard for working with the Legislature to extend her emergency declarations, in clear violation of state law. Finding solutions to the extraordinary challenges we are facing will require cooperation among the co-equal branches of government. We have done our part to work in good faith with the governor. The governor, in response, has chosen to go it alone. That has left the Legislature with no choice but to file this lawsuit.
The Senator was commenting on the suit filed by Republican legislative leaders accusing the Governor of implementing illegal and far-reaching controls over the state while ignoring legislative input. The methods used by the Governor based on the 1945 state law were subsequently ruled to be unconstitutional by the Michigan State Supreme Court.
Now the State Senate has approved the repeal, it's in the hands of the State House. A similar party-line vote is predicted on Wednesday when Representatives cast their votes on the issue. With Republicans controlling the House, it may already be a done deal. And then it’s over. The Governor is unable to veto this kind of process which began with a citizen-initiated petition drive. Some say she might still issue a veto just to show her unhappiness with the decision.
With the legislature’s action, any Governor of Michigan could still issue an Emergency Order, but it would only be in effect for about a month and would require the legislature’s agreement to extend any longer.