Whitmer Vetoes Bill That Would Have Curbed Agency’s Emergency Powers

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Embattled Michigan Gov. Gretchen Wilson (D), facing scrutiny for secret deals made with departing state employees and her COVID-19 nursing home policies, vetoed a bill that would have limited the executive power of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Senate Bill 1 would have capped emergency pandemic orders by MDHHS at 28 days, causing them to automatically expire unless they were extended by the legislature. But Whitmer, who was long ago stripped of her emergency pandemic powers by the Michigan Supreme Court, vetoed the bill, ensuring that her executive branch has unfettered power to give mandate emergency orders.

Star News Education Foundation Journalism ProjectThe bill would have retroactively been applied to all MDHHS orders from November 15 onward.

“Unfortunately, epidemics are not limited to 28 days,” Whitmer said in her veto letter. “We should not so limit our ability to respond to them.”

Whitmer has battled the state’s Republican legislature during the pandemic, and has imposed some of the nation’s strictest lockdown rules.

One of her executive orders banned gatherings in private homes.

“[A]ll individuals currently living within the State of Michigan are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence. Subject to the same exceptions, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited,” the order said.

It was later deemed to be unconstitutional.

Whitmer was sued by a group of student athletes and their parents before finally relenting and re-instating contact sports in the state, and despite the rollout of the coveted COVID-19 vaccine, she has largely kept pandemic precautions in place.

Oddly, COVID-19 hospitalizations are reportedly on the rise in Michigan, despite those measures.

Some states, like Texas and Wyoming, have lifted all COVID-19 restrictions, including mask-wearing, and have reopened to 100 percent capacity. Florida never closed in the first place.

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Pete D’Abrosca is a contributor at The Michigan Star and The Star News Network. Follow Pete on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

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