Zorn votes to support Unlock Michigan petition repealing law abused by Whitmer

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday voted for the Unlock Michigan citizen-led petition to repeal the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act.

“The people of Michigan should never again be silenced when decisions are being made that directly impact their lives and livelihoods,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Last year, the governor chose to try to keep her total, unilateral power over virtually every aspect of life instead of working with the Legislature on ways to address the pandemic and protect our families.

“The courts have already declared the law as unconstitutional, but the only way to ensure it is never abused again is to repeal it entirely. Thanks to the hard work of dedicated citizens, that is exactly what this initiative will do.”

Last October, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Whitmer overstepped her authority by continuing to issue emergency orders without the approval of the Legislature and that the 1945 law was unconstitutional.

After Senate approval, the Unlock Michigan petition still needs to be taken up by the House of Representatives. If approved by the House, the 1945 law will be repealed. The governor has no authority to veto or otherwise block the petition.

If the 1945 law is repealed, the governor can use emergency powers under a separate 1976 law that limits the emergency powers to 28 days unless granted more time by the Legislature.