LANSING, Mich., May 1, 2020 — Yesterday, Michigan’s legislative Republicans passed Senate Bill 858 to limit the power of Michigan’s governor to act in the face of a statewide emergency. Republicans also voted to grant the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader the authority to take legal action against Gov. Whitmer in an attempt to prematurely force Michigan to reopen, while much of the state continues to reel from the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, State Representative Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) had the following to say:

“It was my hope the governor and Republican leadership could work together this week on how to reopen Michigan’s economy. However, Governor Whitmer was clear that she would not reopen businesses without the recommendations and guidance from healthcare professionals, keeping residents safe as her top priority.”

“But make no mistake, the Governor will start reopening our state even with her extension of executive orders. She already has, by granting the construction industry a May 7th return-to-work date. Elective surgeries and other small businesses who can maintain social distancing and safely operate will be next. I support her calculated reopening plan, because we can’t afford to go backwards in slowing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.”

“As we bring more testing online, and more tracing of who infected persons were in contact with and where they were last, you will see more and more businesses added to the reopen list within in the next month. U.P. leaders are already working together to formulate a plan specific to our region to bring forward to the governor in the coming week. She is willing to work with us.”

“I’m not sure why republicans want to bring a lawsuit against her when both sides basically agree on how to move forward. The only difference I see is in ‘when’ we do it, which, so far, only amounts to a few days difference to a week or two at most. This is not worth throwing grenades across the room or passing bills to take away her executive power. Governor Whitmer, like all governors, has the executive power to carry out the state emergency plan. Working with her, rather than against her, is in the best interest of legislators in order to get the reopening plan that the majority of people want for the U.P.”

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