LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved the Unlock Michigan citizen-led petition to repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act.
The vote came two days after the Board of State Canvassers certified the petition’s signatures.
“The Upper Peninsula and all of Michigan is still coping with the disastrous effects of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown orders from last year,” said Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township. “Her unconstitutional orders negatively affected thousands of people’s lives and livelihoods, making the challenge of COVID-19 even worse.
“The people of Michigan stood up and exercised their constitutional rights to change laws. A record number of signatures were collected in a short time to petition for repealing this law. The Supreme Court later declared the law unconstitutional. I voted to approve the Unlock Michigan citizen-led petition to ensure no governor can utilize these unfettered, unlimited powers again. This old law allowed governors to circumvent our system of government, and ignore the voice of the people and their Legislature.”
When this law is repealed, emergency powers will be governed by the more recent, 1976 Act that limits the emergency powers to 28 days unless granted more time by the Legislature.
Prior to the court ruling, Whitmer vetoed Senate legislation that would have limited a governor’s emergency powers without legislative approval.
The Unlock Michigan petition now goes to the House of Representatives for approval.
The governor has no authority to veto or otherwise block the petition if approved by both chambers of the Legislature.