Runestad applauds citizen initiated repeal of Emergency Powers Act

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Runestad, along with his colleagues applauded the passage of an initiative by both chambers to approve the Unlock Michigan citizen-led petition to repeal the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945.

The petition drive was a response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer exceeding her executive powers during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, establishing policy for COVID-19 without input of the Legislature and acting unilaterally. The Senate vote came two days after the Board of State Canvassers certified the petition’s signatures.

“The citizens of this state have had to wait far too long to have their voices heard. They have exercised their own Constitutional power to bring this initiative before the legislature for approval,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “This initiative represents the people’s override of the governor and the restoring the proper place of the people’s voice and the elected legislative branch of government.

The passage of this measure comes after Michigan’s Supreme Court ruled Whitmer acted unconstitutionally when she issued pandemic orders without input from the Legislature. In 2020, Runestad co-sponsored Senate Bill 857, which would have repealed PA 302 of 1945 over a year ago. The bill was vetoed by the governor.

The Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate both voted to approve the initiative with a majority vote. PA 302 of 1945 is now repealed. With both chambers approving the citizen initiated petition, the governor has no authority to veto or otherwise block the petition.

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