Michigan voters could be facing one more ballot proposal in the future as a group named “Unlock Michigan” is circulating petitions to repeal the 1945 law that empowers a Governor to take action during an emergency without the need to consult the Legislature. Quite often getting petition language approved can be a contentious process; however, in this case the Michigan Board of State Canvassers unanimously approved the one sentence petition language during a meeting held July 6th. Click here to read the petition language https://unlockmichigan.com/our-proposal/
Supporters must gather 340,047 valid signatures from registered voters within a 180 day window. If enough valid signatures are gathered the proposed measure will be presented to the Legislature where a simple majority can enact the law without the Governor’s signature. The Legislature can also vote to oppose or take no action, in which both cases result in the measure going to the voters.
Currently, Michigan has two separate statutes that can be utilized during an emergency declared by a Governor. The Emergency Powers of Governor Act is a 1945 law, which is the subject of this petition drive, allows a governor to declare a state of emergency and operate unilaterally until they declare the emergency has ended. The second statute, the Emergency Management Act of 1976, empowers a Governor to declare a state of emergency and operate unilaterally for 28 days, but continuation of the state of emergency giving rise to the Governor’s power must be ratified by a vote of the Legislature.
Supporters of the petition drive contend this is not a partisan issue. Rather, they assert that the traditional checks and balances are not being adhered to and we should return to a more normal structure of governance where one person, the Governor, does not have all the control for an extended period of time. Opponents have filed a lawsuit contending the Board of State Convassers errored in approving the petition for circulation. To learn more about the petition drive click here https://unlockmichigan.com/