No state agency should have the authority to shut down the economy
During the second week of the year-end lame duck session, NFIB urged the state senate to pass legislation that would put limits on the authority of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to issue orders that force business to close.
Senate Bill 1253, sponsored by state senator Lana Theis, would set a time limit of 28 days on emergency orders issued in response to an epidemic unless an extension is approved by the legislature. Companion legislation has also been introduced in the house with House Bill 6507, introduced by Rep. Jack O’Malley.
The Michigan Supreme Court made it clear with their recent decision halting the Governor’s abuse of the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 that the balance of power in the governance of our state is one of the hallmarks of our system of representative government that must be respected.
Unfortunately, Governor Whitmer has continued to usurp the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches by continuing to issue closure orders through state agencies under her direct control such as DHHS.
Senate Bill 1253 would restore a proper balance between the executive office and the legislature in dealing with the current challenges of the COVID-19 situation and allow for safe reopening of small businesses in Michigan. No state agency should have the authority to shut down entire segments of the state’s economy without legislative oversight and approval.
As of this writing, Senate Bill 1253 is on the floor of the State Senate and could see final passage this week. The bill would then be sent to the House for further action.