Speaker Chatfield provides statement after Michigan Supreme Court ruling

Published: Oct. 2, 2020 at 6:19 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - On Friday, Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield released the following statement after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that Gov. Whitmer’s actions have been unconstitutional and that the Legislature must be involved in issuing and extending states of emergency:

"This is a giant win for the people of Michigan and for the democratic process. The people of this state have been denied a voice and a seat at the table in decisions that have impacted every facet of their lives and their futures over the past eight months. They deserve to have their representatives bring their voice and their concerns into this decision-making process.

"The Legislature was there in March and April to work with the governor to improve her executive orders and help keep Michigan healthy and moving forward together. It worked well, just like the authors of our Constitution intended. Months later, we are still ready to work alongside Gov. Whitmer in a bipartisan way to improve the state’s response to this pandemic.

“It’s been said the governor is in the best position to act quickly, and the Legislature is in the best position to act deliberately. That is how our entire system is designed to work. We look forward to the coming bipartisan deliberations on the pandemic response and the improved outcomes for Michigan families.”

Earlier this spring, House and Senate Republicans made several recommendations to the governor for both new executive orders and changes to existing orders after hearing about unintended consequences and weaknesses in the state’s response directly from constituents. The following list was adopted by the administration when both parties were still working together:

· EO 2020-8 (price gouging)

o Prevent unintended consequences like expiring sales prices regular market price changes from qualifying as price gouging.

o More accurately target the order to address actual gouging practices that hurt consumers instead of normal retail transactions above a certain size.

· EO 2020-9 (public accommodations)

o Clarify unclear language on what counts as a spa, allowing nails salons, hair salons and cosmetology studios to remain open. Statewide, those small businesses employ nearly 100,000 licensed professionals.

o Exempt outdoor facilities whose closure creates difficulty without helping to stop the spread of the illness.

· EO 2020-11 (large gatherings)

o Clarify that houses of worship are not subject to criminal prosecution for performing services.

· EO 2020-15 (Open Meetings Act)

o Suspend the legal requirement that school boards meet with the public in person every month while schools are closed.

· EO 2020-47 (commercial drivers' licenses)

o Ease requirements for former commercial truck drivers to come back to work to help secure the supply chain.

House and Senate Republicans have also passed several statutory reforms to address the public health crisis, although some were vetoed in favor of unconstitutional executive orders. The following list includes some of the statutory changes that were passed, not including several changes made during the budget process:

· HB 5761 (property tax relief)

· HBs 5911-13 (The “Return to Learn” plan)

· HB 6030-32, 6101 (workplace reopening liability)

· HB 6159 (healthcare worker liability)

· SB 876-878 (extending renewal dates for license expiration)

· SB 899 (healthcare worker liability)

· SB 956 (nursing home improvements)

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