Senate approves Stamas resolution to defend Legislature’s role in states of emergency

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Thursday approved a resolution sponsored by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas to allow the Senate to challenge in court any executive actions taken by the governor after the Legislature’s state of emergency extension expires on May 1.

“The Legislature is the people’s most direct representation in state government, yet the governor continues to dismiss and ignore this co-equal branch,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “The governor has repeatedly chosen absolute power over working together with the people’s representatives. She believes she can unilaterally grab total power over every Michigan family and hold onto that power for as long as she wants.

“The people have a voice, and protecting their voices and protecting their lives are not mutually exclusive. Unfortunately, the governor has decided to go it alone once again and the people of Michigan deserve better.”

Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-4 on March 10 declaring a state of emergency across Michigan to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and she issued EO 2020-33 on April 1 to include a state of disaster related to the pandemic. On April 7, the Legislature adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 24 to extend the states of emergency and disaster through April 30.

Senate Resolution 114 says that without an additional legislative extension, Gov. Whitmer has a statutory obligation to “issue an executive order or proclamation declaring” the states of emergency and disaster terminated on May 1.

“This resolution authorizes the Senate to defend the Legislature’s role and the people’s rights by bringing legal action if the governor attempts to extend her emergency powers without legislative approval,” Stamas said. “We’re all facing uncertain and stressful times. My hope is that our governor will change course and work with us to responsibly and effectively end this public health crisis, and that this resolution will not be necessary. In case that does not happen, we need to be able to stand up for our constituents, the people of Michigan, and our system of government.”

###

Editor’s note: Video of Stamas’ floor remarks on the resolution will be available at www.SenatorJimStamas.com/video.

The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorJimStamas.com/Photowire.