Sen. Zorn votes to override governor’s whistleblower protection veto

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday voted to override Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s veto of legislation to ensure whistleblower protections for state employees.

“When trying to ensure we have efficient and effective government, it is vital to have access to reliable information,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Key to getting that reliable information about state government is the ability of any state employee to tell their elected representatives about problems or wasteful spending they see firsthand. Without these protections, state employees risk being fired simply for trying to improve their state. It’s wrong.

“It was disappointing that the governor chose to veto a bill allowing state employees to talk to their legislators and blow the whistle. Just as disappointing is that Senate Democrats voted against overriding the governor’s veto after all of them earlier voted for the bill.”

The Michigan Whistleblower Protection Act was created 40 years ago to protect employees from retribution if they report their employer to a public body for violation of a law, rule or regulation. It applies to all public and private employees except state classified civil service employees.

Senate Bill 686 would have amended the act to protect state employees who communicate with members of the Legislature.

The veto override failed because the Senate vote did not meet the two-thirds requirement.