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Skubick: Republican legislative leaders square off with Whitmer over COVID-19 power


Lansing, MI (WLNS) – The two Republican leaders in the Michigan legislature are suing the Democratic governor, charging her with overusing her authority to address the COVID-19 pandemic at the expense of citizens.

And the two leaders are telling 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick the governor has closed the curtain on having any conversations with them on this issue.

The governor contends she has the right to declare a state of emergency and does not need lawmakers to approve that.

But Senate Republican leader Mike Shirkey and Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield strongly disagree, arguing her unilateral action is leaving the citizens out of this process.

“We believe it’s important to take this on as far as we need to go to assure that the people of the state have a seat at the table and that our constitution is being followed,” claimed Rep. Chatfield.

Senator Shirkey reminds the governor that the legislature is part of the process and all he wants is for her to take his extended hand and work with the leaders on this virus issue.

“We have continued to offer an open hand to our governor in a true spirit of cooperation.”

But he contends the governor has closed the curtain and is making her decisions behind those curtains with the leaders on the outside.

“The curtain has been closed for a long time and the more detailed our questions become, it seems like the tighter the curtain becomes.”

Skubick: “So you do think she has frozen you out?”

Sen. Shirkey: “Tim, I don’t know how decisions are being made by the governor any more than you do.”

Rep. Chatfield: “Tim, I think our constitution is no longer being followed.”

But, the House Democratic leader discloses that the governor has been talking to the legislative quadrant leaders all along.

“We have continued to have quadrant calls during this pandemic so she has kept her promise to keep the lines of communications open,” said Rep. Christine Greig. “It’s very disingenuous to say there isn’t collaboration going on behind the scenes.”

Mr. Shirkey has called the governor a dictator and now he and the Speaker will find out if the courts agree.  

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