A petition drive in Michigan that attempts to repeal a law allowing many of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus executive orders has enough valid signatures to send the matter to state boards, then legislature.
The state’s Board of State Canvassers is set Thursday to hear the petition and send it to Michigan’s Board of Elections for approval.
If the board, made up of two Democrats and two Republicans, recommends certifying the petition, the matter goes to the state’s GOP-led legislature, which is expected to adopt and enact the repeal of the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act, and avoid a Whitmer veto.
Unlock Michigan expects the legislature will not choose to put the issue on a 2022 ballot for voters to decide, according to The Detroit News.
The Michigan Supreme Court in October 2020 said was ruled an unconstitutional delegation of legislative power to the governor. Whitmer then had her state health department director use the public health code to issue epidemic orders that essentially carry the same authority as her executive orders.
“If the Board of Canvassers does its duty on Thursday, this can be in front of the legislature as soon as next week,” says Fred Wszolek, of Unlock Michigan, the group leading the petition, The Detroit News also reports.
The petition needed 340,047 valid signatures for approval. The Bureau of Elections found that 460,358 of the total 538,345 were valid.
Whitmer is the later months of the pandemic has eased some of her virus health-safety mandates, which were among the strictest in the country, amid resident backlash.
Keep Michigan Safe, a group dedicated to protecting the governor’s executive powers to keep people safe during the coronavirus pandemic said they would try and stop the repeal attempt.
“We’re disappointed, but we will make our case to the Board of Canvassers and the courts to stop this ill-conceived and irresponsible petition drive,” group spokesman Mark Fisk said.