Michigan Democrat Gov Whitmer Has Emergency Powers Repealed by State Legislature
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers reigned in after triggering statewide unrest
Michigan's Democrat governor, Gretchen Whitmer, has had her emergency coronavirus crisis powers repealed after her overreaching stay-at-home order triggered statewide unrest.
The GOP-controlled Michigan legislature took steps to reign in Gov. Whitmer’s emergency powers on Friday.
The state legislature was scheduled to reconvene to review Whitmer’s actions on Friday, Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield announced on Thursday.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its spread through Detroit, a hotspot for the virus, Michigan has enacted some of the harshest emergency regulations.
The state Senate passed a bill that would repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act during Friday’s special session.
Whitmer has issued her heavy-handed mandates under the powers awarded to her by the act.
The legislature approved a committee to provide oversight on Whitmer’s actions during the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Detroit News.
"The state’s response must be transparent, and we all have to work together to hold state government to higher standards for its actions and choices,” Chatfield said.
"The House is taking action today to deliver that transparency and help guide the way for better results.”
Whitmer has pledged to veto any bills that “limit the executive power” that she has used to direct Michigan’s coronavirus response.
"Of course, I will veto bills that they send over to limit the executive power,” Whitmer said in a briefing Thursday.
"I’ve been very clear about that from day one."
“Those blatant power grabs are bad in good times and dangerous in times of crisis.”
On Friday, Whitmer extended her lockdown order through May 15, but relaxed orders banning boating on lakes and lawn maintenance, The Daily Wire reported.
The new order also cuts a restriction that forbids Michiganders from traveling between two residences, according to The Detroit News.
Whitmer said that the legislature has a “role to play” in the pandemic but dismissed the attempt to reign her in emergency powers as posturing.
"Certainly, [the legislature has] a role to play,” Whitmer said.
"We have really bent over backwards to make sure that we’re sharing information with them. And I think it’s worked pretty well.
"It’s not perfect and we don’t agree on everything to be sure.
"But we have gone out of our way to try to keep them included so that they knew what and why the actions that I was taking were necessary.”
Whitmer’s orders have incensed hundreds of residents who protested in the state’s capital last week, calling for Whitmer to loosen her stay-at-home that has barred many in the state from working.
The governor responded to the protesters in an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and threatened to extend the lockdown because the protesters had violated social distancing rules.
"When you see a, you know, a political rally — that’s what it was yesterday — a political rally like that, where people aren’t wearing masks, and they’re in close quarters, and they’re touching one another, you know that that’s precisely what makes this kind of a disease drag out and expose more people,” Whitmer said.
"We might have to actually think about extending stay-at-home orders, which is supposedly what they were protesting,” she said.