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Gov. Whitmer set to sign new executive orders related to drinking water

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The dispute between Michigan’s Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders over revamping the state’s environmental regulatory department is set to begin another round.

Republican lawmakers have already thwarted Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s first attemptto use an executive order to overhaul the Department of Environmental Quality. GOP lawmakers were critical of Whitmer’s decision to eliminate panels created by state lawmakers to oversee the agency’s decisions.

But the governor is getting ready to try again.

“I will be signing a couple of executive orders in the very near future. They ensure that we have clean drinking water. That’s my number one job,” Whitmer told reporters in Flint on Tuesday.

But also on Tuesday, State House Republicans introduced a resolution directing the Democratic governor to submit her DEQ plan to the Legislature.

HR 26 reads in part:

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we urge the Governor, pursuant to Article V, Section 2 of the Constitution of the State of Michigan of 1963, to submit an executive order to reorganize the executive branch towards improving environmental protections, access to safe and clean drinking water, and the health and safety of Michigan's citizens, in a manner consistent with the intent of the Legislature

When asked about the resolution, Whitmer dismissed it.

“I think that they’re playing political games,” said Whitmer. “I’m too serious about cleaning up drinking water and focus on fixing issues to play games.”

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.