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Some confusion remains about impact of Michigan Supreme Court ruling

The court struck down the law Governor Whitmer used to issue her executive orders
Published: Oct. 13, 2020 at 5:14 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Supreme Court cleared up some confusion about its ruling against the law Governor Gretchen Whitmer was using to declare an emergency and to issue executive orders.

However, there is still confusion about how that ruling is affecting everyone from parents to city councils and school boards.

“You shouldn’t have to make people decide between their health and public participation,” said East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens.

East Lansing has been taking advantage of an executive order, which allows governments and other public boards to hold public meetings online most of the year.

“We really are in the same boat where we are all a little bit confused. We are trying to manage not getting people sick while still doing business in the city,” Mayor Stephens said.

But the Michigan Supreme Court struck down the law Governor Whitmer used to issue her executive orders, including the one that allowed virtual meetings. The Lansing City Council cancelled Monday night’s meeting after the court said its ruling went into effect immediately.

However, East Lansing is staying online-at least for this week.

“If and when we get a little more clarity on what’s going on, we will make adjustments at that point,” Stephens said.

One Grand Ledge parent, Brenda McGuire, is trying to figure out what this means for her son’s education.

“It’s confusing, it’s difficult, it’s stressful for all of us,” said McGuire. “Are they going to make them go back to in person learning?”

McGuire said she feels the best solution is to simplify the rules so that everyone knows what is going on.

“It would be nice to have a unified voice. People get on the same page and go ‘look, this is what we need to do," she said.

Legislators are working on trying to ease some of the confusion with bills that are working their way through the Capitol. Mayor Stephens said he would like to continue with some sort of virtual meeting for public comments when in-person meetings resume.

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