The Michigan State Senate took away Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers in a 20 to 15 vote on Friday. It now goes to the lower house where it will pass easily and cannot be vetoed by Whitmer.
Opposition to Whitmer got 340,000 valid signatures on a petition that allows just the legislature to have the final word on the matter. The power to declare an emergency now belongs to the legislature.
The petition was circulated by UnlockMichigan. The first attempt in April was voted down by the Board of State Canvassers in a 2 to 2 tie. This time they passed it by a 3 to 0 vote. That sent it to the Senate and now on to the House.
The petition aimed at the 1945 Emergency Powers Act that allowed Whitmer to destroy the state’s economy and during which she used the full power of the state to persecute anyone who would not play her game.
State Sen. Tom Barrett, a Republican, told colleagues:
“This initiative represents a people’s veto of this governor and the unlimited power that she’s tried to claim during this pandemic.”
State Sen. Mallory McMorrow said:
“But when an emergency faces our state, we don’t have the luxury of time. That is what this legislature of the past put into place. And I could not in good conscience support or measure to remove those powers and put future residents at risk if the executive of the state does not have the ability to act quickly.”
Once it passes in the House, it will stay in effect for 28 days and then would once again need approval from both houses of the legislature.
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The vote on Thursday came after a series of developments, including a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court that the emergency powers law was unconstitutional. The court later ordered the Board of State Canvassers to certify the petition after the board deadlocked along party lines, with Republicans voting for and Democrats against, in April.
Unlock Michigan, meanwhile, received approval this week for a new petition that would limit emergency powers for the Michigan Department of Health. Unlock Michigan spokesperson Fred Wzolek told The Epoch Times that the petition was “another step to keep Whitmer from ruling by decree on her own.”