LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday took action to approve the Unlock Michigan citizen initiative that would repeal the law used by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to issue emergency orders early on in the pandemic.
“I believe it took far too long to get to this point, but what matters is that we’ve finally reached it and we’re taking action on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Michiganders,” said Sen. Kevin Daley, R-Lum. “A citizens’ initiative is an example of people having the chance to make their voices heard, and the people spoke up.”
Last year, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Whitmer acted unconstitutionally when issuing pandemic orders without input from the Legislature — the people’s voice in government and coequal branch.
Residents across the state voiced their displeasure with the governor’s unilateral and often confusing and overly burdensome rules. After being widely ignored by the administration, residents took matters into their own hands and began an initiative to eliminate the law that allowed the governor to single-handedly make rules without input from the Legislature.
On Oct. 2, 2020, Unlock Michigan organizers submitted signatures that were collected in support of repealing the law used by the governor to issue executive orders over several months of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of State Canvassers recently certified the Unlock Michigan petition, leaving Legislature responsible for taking the next step and voting to approve it.
“I supported this measure today because neither the Legislature or the residents of this state should be kept in the dark during uncertain times like we saw during the pandemic — especially early on,” Daley said. “People deserve to know what decisions are being made along with why they are being made. Our founders created coequal branches to avoid the exact situation we found ourselves in during the pandemic and this initiative will ensure no future governor can violate the constitution like our current governor has.”