Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates and news from your state government.
Both Legislative Chambers Pass So-Called ‘Unlock Michigan’ Petition Initiative
Last week, I voted against the so-called “Unlock Michigan” petition initiative to repeal the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 (EPGA). The Senate had already voted to repeal this act on a party-line vote. Without the EPGA, the governor cannot declare a state of emergency for longer than 28 days without the Legislature’s approval. Last fall, the Michigan Supreme Court determined in a 4-3 vote that the EPGA violates the Michigan Constitution; for this reason, neither the current nor any future governor can use the EPGA as it was used during the pandemic.
I believe that we should work to fix the separation of powers concerns in the 1945 statute through the amendment process — not scrap the statute entirely, as the majority opinion of the Court suggested. Otherwise, Michiganders will have to rely on the highly partisan and politicized Legislature to extend states of emergency. This could prove to be a disaster.
The signature-gathering process for “Unlock Michigan” was also concerning for me. Petition circulators collected signatures using misleading tactics. Some petition circulators told people that the petition was for LGBTQ rights, medical marijuana or programs to support small businesses. While undoubtedly unethical, this practice is currently legal in Michigan. That is why I introduced House Bill 4360, which would prohibit the use of intentionally misleading statements to solicit signatures for a ballot petition.
Because the Legislature bypassed a vote of the electorate, the governor’s signature is not required. The repeal becomes effective in 2022.
Consumers Warned About Mosquito-Control Scams
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is advising the public to hire only licensed mosquito-control companies. Legitimate pest-control businesses must be licensed through the state, meet minimum experience requirements, use only registered pesticides and employ applicators who have passed MDARD’s pesticide proficiency examinations. To help Michiganders avoid scams, the state has compiled a list of licensed mosquito control companies at Michigan.gov/MosquitoControlBusiness.
MI Attorney General, MDHHS Warn Public of Food Assistance Text Scam
Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel have issued a warning regarding a fraudulent text scam asking food assistance recipients to click on a link to confirm their benefits. MDHHS does not send out benefits notifications via text. Individuals who want to apply for food assistance should use the MI Bridges website.
Please don’t hesitate to contact my office at (517) 373-0587 or firstname.lastname@example.org if we can help.