New bill would require Governor to notify legislature of travel plans

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– In a Senate bill introduced by Republican Tom Barret of Charlotte, it would require the governor to notify the legislature of when she plans to leave the state.

“We’re simply asking to know, who is fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of governor in your absence,” said Barrett.

The question was raised after news came out in April that the Governor went to Florida in March for a few days to visit her father.

“I asked the legitimate policy question I’m like hey do we do we as a legislature get notified if the governor has to transfer authority to someone else like for example when she leaves the state and we did a little research and found there wasn’t that requirement in law already,” said Barrett.

However there are concerns over the governor’s safety. Shanon Banner from the Michigan State Police says after the plot to kidnap the governor and other death threats, “the more people who know or have access to her movements, the higher the risk level for both her and her executive protection detail.”

Barrett says the bill wouldn’t require any travel details, just that the governor is leaving the state. He added that even the President’s itinerary is public.

“President Biden was just here in Michigan yesterday, for the ford F-150 vehicle announcement, that was widely published well in advance of his time coming here,” said Barrett.

This bill raises some safety concerns for the governor though if it were to be signed into law.

For security reasons, the Michigan State Police has serious concerns with any legislation that would require the advanced sharing or publication of the Governor’s travel schedule. This is especially important in today’s environment given the number of death threats she has received, to include the well-publicized Wolverine Watchmen kidnapping plot. The more people who know or have access to her movements, the higher the risk level for both her and her executive protection detail.

Shanon Banner, Manager, Public Affairs Section, Michigan State Police

Barrett says this bill would not require any details about the governor’s travels. It would also be required for all future governors for business or personal travel reasons.

Robert Leddy, the press secretary for the governor’s office said this in response to the bill:

“Right now, the legislature could be working to help Michigan families and small businesses by providing billions of dollars of relief under President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, but they continue to waste more time taking political pot shots than serving their constituents. It would behoove the legislature to read the Michigan Constitution, which clearly outlines a process to ensure that there is always an acting governor available to continue the functions of the state in case of an emergency. If the legislature wants to waste their time playing games, that’s their own decision, but Governor Whitmer is going to remain focused on ending this pandemic and putting Michigan back to work.”

Robert Leddy, Press Secretary for the Michigan Governor’s office

The governor would be required to notify the leaders of the Senate and House and it would have to be in writing.

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