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State Board OKs petition to repeal law governor has used for COVID orders

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Expect to see people collecting signatures soon on a petition to repeal the Michigan law that's given Governor Gretchen Whitmer broad emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Board of State Canvassers approved language for the petition Monday.

It would repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945.

“You know the pandemic remains, but the emergency has really passed and we should get back to a normal process of government where governor proposes things and then the Legislature debates it and laws are passed and there's a voice for the people,” says Fred Wszolek, spokesman for the Unlock Michigan campaign.

Wszolek says they hope to collect enough valid signatures to put the issue before the Republican-controlled state Legislature. State lawmakers could enact the change without needing the approval of voters.

Republican lawmakers have complained about the Democratic governor’s use of executive orders during the pandemic. But the courtshave rejected their efforts to block them.

Gov. Whitmer has argued her executive ordersare necessary to deal with the health threat from COVID-19.

In order to move forward, petition gatherers will need to collect about 340,000 valid signatures. The Unlock Michigan campaign hopes to collect a half million signatures before the end of the year.  

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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.
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