In a story published yesterday by EpochTimes, it becomes clear that Michigan was tired of Gretchen Whitmer abusing her powers to keep the state in lockdown.
On July 21, the Michigan House of Representatives voted to remove the governor’s Emergency Powers Act, which was used to enact COVID-19 limitations across the state.
The vote followed the state Senate’s acceptance of the repeal last week, and the 1945 statute is now formally repealed.
The bill was repealed 60–48 in the House, with four Democrats—state Reps. Sara Cambensy, Tim Sneller, Karen Whitsett, and Richard Steenland were among the Democrats who voted to abolish the law. On July 15, the state Senate voted to do so by a vote of 20–15.
“I feel we need to improve the act, not abandon it,” state Rep. Rachel Hood, a Democrat who voted against the bill, told The Epoch Times. Executive power permits us to be more agile and responsive to swiftly emergent needs in an emergency.”
“You better believe I voted ‘yes,’” Republican state Rep. Phil Green, who backed the repeal, told The Epoch Times. I started a petition in support of it. Our system is built with checks and balances in mind. This statute handed the executive powers that should have been given to the legislature.”
The Senate vote came two days after the state Board of Canvassers certified that Unlock Michigan, a coalition of state residents, had gathered more than the minimum 340,000 valid signatures to place a repeal question on the November ballot.
The repeal measure taken by the legislature negated the need for a public vote. The governor has no power to reject legislation brought before them by a citizens’ initiative if both chambers of the Legislature approve it, and a referendum vote isn’t required.
In early spring 2020, when the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic hit Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used the 1945 Emergency Powers Act to impose severe and long-term orders that effectively shut down the state’s economy and locked down residents, businesses, schools, and churches in an effort to “stop the spread” of the disease.
As the “temporary” limitations wore on, state lawmakers exercised their authority under the Emergency Management Act of 1976, which required Whitmer to seek legislative permission for an extension of the order’s duration surpassed 28 days.
Initially, Whitmer followed the governor’s directives, and the Republican-controlled Legislature granted her two 28-day extensions.
When the Legislature declined to extend Whitmer’s lockdown orders past April 30, 2020, the governor began citing the Michigan Department of Public Health’s emergency powers to justify her continuation. Following Whitmer’s move, a flurry of lawsuits was filed questioning the validity of her directives and acts.
Unlock Michigan started a petition effort to repeal the Emergency Powers Act in July 2020.
The Michigan Supreme Court determined in October 2020, before the petition had gathered enough signatures, that the law was an unconstitutional transfer of legislative authority to the governor. Because the Legislature had refused to prolong Whitmer’s orders, the court unanimously determined that her continuing to do so violated the Emergency Management Act’s criteria and that the orders were unconstitutional.
Unlock Michigan presented 539,000 signatures supporting the repeal of the Emergency Powers Act to the state Board of Canvassers as the state Supreme Court judgments were announced, approximately 200,000 more than the 340,000 valid signatures required. Following that, the Board of Canvassers announced that 460,358 signatures were valid.
Despite a large number of signatures, the Board of Canvassers was unable to reach a resolution in April, and the petitions were not certified, with two Democratic members demanding an investigation into alleged malfeasance by some of the petition’s circulators.
Keep Michigan Safe, a self-described “coalition to safeguard Michigan’s governor’s executive power during a public health catastrophe,” organized an effort to defeat the ballot issue.
In a web statement, the group stated, “The petition will weaken our elected officials’ and medical experts’ ability to keep Michigan families safe.”
Keep Michigan Safe set up an online clearinghouse named “Report a Circulator” throughout the petition campaign, where anyone may report any complaints about claimed misbehavior on the part of Unlock Michigan petition circulators, in order to document any reported abnormalities.
An examination by the Michigan Attorney General’s Office revealed no criminal breaches on the part of the circulators.
Keep Michigan Safe filed a motion for reconsideration after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled on June 11 that the Board of Canvassers must certify the petitions, but it was denied. On July 13, the Board of Canvassers voted 3–0 to approve the petitions after being directed by the high court for the second time to certify them. The Board of Canvassers also authorized the formation of a new petition drafted by Unlock Michigan to limit the Michigan Department of Public Health’s emergency powers on July 13. The new petitions will be available to the public in a “few weeks,” according to Unlock Michigan spokeswoman Fred Wzolek.
According to data obtained from the Michigan.gov website over 62.9% of the people in the state have been vaccinated already, so that makes one wonder what Gretchen Whitmer’s and the group calling itself Keep Michigan Safe agenda really was.