Michigan House Repeals 1945 Emergency Powers Act

On Wednesday Republican lawmakers repealed the 1945 law that gave Governor Gretchen Whitmer her power to declare an emergency.

The GOP-led House voted 60-48 to repeal the law and Whitmer is unable to veto the citizen-initiated bill.

The 1945 law gave governors broad powers to declare an emergency and implement rules to protect life and property to declare and emergency situation within the affected area under control.

“Students, workers and small business owners are still feeling the effects of Gov. Whitmer’s misguided lockdowns,” said State Representative John Damoose, of Harbor Springs. “Unlock Michigan will guarantee no governor can abuse the unconstitutional emergency powers law she used to bypass the Legislature, cripple the economy and close schools.”

“The governor’s abuse of power put people out of work, set our children back in their learning and left people unsure when they would see loved ones or friends in long-term care facilities,” added State Representative Daire Rendon, of Lake City. “It was an affront to the democratic process and left people voiceless through who they elected to represent them.”

Gov. Whitmer had used the law to indefinitely issue Covid-19 rules until the court ruled against her last October.

“We went several weeks through the pandemic with executive orders that had legislative input and advice on modifications. This was working as I feel the system should – with the legislative branch being a co-equal partner,” said State Representative Jack O’Malley, of Lake Ann. “This partnership looked out for residents and jobs while avoiding unintended consequences, as the Legislature was uniquely positioned to listen to the needs of the people in a time of crisis.

The ballot committee, Unlock Michigan, collected hundreds of thousand voter signatures to bring the bill to the Legislature.