Skubick: Whitmer and lawmakers hit bump over abolishing commissions

Michigan

The bump in the road between the new governor and the new Republican legislature is unfolding.

Some key Republicans are telling the governor to back-off her effort to abolish three commissions the lawmakers created as part of the former Department of Environmental Quality.  

With a stroke of her pen, Governor Gretchen Whitmer unilaterally abolished three commissions that the Republican legislature created under Gov. Snyder last year.

Some key lawmakers argue she was wrong to do it.

The Senate Republican leader says he is “disappointed” and talked to the governor about it this morning.

The House Republican Speaker is also concerned.

The House Republican floor leader wants the governor to reconsider and the head of the Chamber of Commerce wants lawmakers to look at overriding the governor’s decisions.

The governor’s office argues these commissions were part of the executive branch of governor which she controls, not the legislature.

The Republican leaders have sixty days to reject the executive orders but Sen. Mike Shirkey is not rushing into that.

Republican spokesperson Amber McCann said, “at this time the majority leader would prefer that we implement the committee process and keep an open line of communication.”

This is the first bump in the road between the executive and legislative branches over separation of powers.

“The caucus members are concerned that those boards were not given an opportunity to be implemented and be used for what they were intended to provide more transparency and accountability,” added McCann.

But the environmental lobby supports the governor and argues that there were too many business leaders on one commission which would have tilted environmental permits in their favor.

This will be the first real test to see if the governor and Republican leaders can apply the bipartisanship they want to resolve this dispute.  

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