Whitmer vetoes measure to give lawmakers a say in long epidemic orders


LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer responded to a Republican-backed effort to change the state’s public health code with a veto Wednesday.

State Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, introduced Senate Bill 1253 earlier this month. It would have required legislative approval if an emergency order extends beyond 28 days. 

Michigan law gives the state health department power to enforce epidemic orders, which is now being relied on after the Legislature challenged Whitmer’s executive powers and the law underpinning them was thrown out.

“This bill would recklessly undermine the ability of the Department of Health and Human Services to stop the spread of this pandemic, putting the lives of countless Michiganders at risk. Therefore, I am vetoing it,” the governor wrote in her veto letter to the Michigan Senate.

The move is the latest in an ongoing back-and-forth power struggle between a Democratic governor and Republican-controlled Legislature that has spent much of 2020 disagreeing about the state’s approach to fighting COVID-19. 

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