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Politics & Government

Whitmer Vetoes Bill To Constrain Health Order Power

Michigan Executive Office of the Governor

Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a bill Wednesday and sent a letter saying she won’t won’t sign away her administration’s power to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Republicans are still trying to rein in the different ways Whitmer has employed emergency powers to address COVID-19 in Michigan. The bill vetoed – as expected -- by Whitmer would have required her to seek the Legislature’s approval every 28 days to renew an order from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“This bill would create a 28-day limit on epidemic orders. Unfortunately, epidemics are not limited to 28 days,” she wrote. “We should not so limit our ability to respond to them.”

The GOP-controlled Legislature sent her a bill that tied the power to spend $370 million in federal COVID funds to the 28-day requirement. She vetoed a similar bill last year that attempted to limit her administration’s authority to issue public health orders without the Legislature’s approval.

The Michigan Senate has given Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) the authority to file a lawsuit, but that’s not an option he’s exercised so far.    

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