Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Fink: Unconstitutional law finally repealed thanks to the people of Michigan
RELEASE|July 21, 2021
Contact: Andrew Fink

State Rep. Andrew Fink today joined the majority of his Michigan House colleagues in approving the landmark Unlock Michigan citizens’ initiative to repeal the unconstitutional 1945 state law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to hold unilateral power over the people of Michigan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is what sets America apart – the people’s right to hold their government accountable and intervene when one individual becomes too powerful,” said Fink, of Adams Township. “Hundreds of thousands of Michigan residents signed the petition to rein-in the governor’s unconstitutional power. My colleagues and I in the Legislature have a duty to ensure the people’s voices are heard. This vote shouldn’t be controversial as the courts have already deemed this law unconstitutional. Approving this citizens’ initiative was the right thing to do.”

During the pandemic, Whitmer cited the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945 (EPGA) as giving her expansive authority to declare a state of emergency indefinitely and issue sweeping orders without input from the state Legislature. In October 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court declared the EPGA unconstitutional because it effectively allowed a governor to exercise the Legislature’s law-making authority.

Even before the Supreme Court decision was issued, concerned citizens had already started the Unlock Michigan petition to repeal the EPGA, submitting over half a million signatures in October. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson delayed review of the signatures, but after six months, she reported an estimate of more than 460,000 valid signatures, over 120,000 signatures more than constitutionally required. The report recommended that the bipartisan Board of State Canvassers certify the petition and submit it to the Legislature for consideration.

However, Democratic members of the Board of State Canvassers refused to certify the initiative. The Michigan Supreme Court recently ruled that the canvassers were legally required to approve the petition, and the board voted to certify last week.

The House approved the petition with overwhelming support, following approval by the Senate last week. Once passed by the Legislature, a citizens’ initiative becomes law without requiring approval from the governor.

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