A petition drive aimed at repealing a Michigan law that grants the governor emergency powers has reached more than 400,000 signatures, WKZO reported over the weekend.
The drive is targeting Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s power to declare restrictions statewide in order to contain the coronavirus. Currently, according to the 1945 law, she is able to do so without having to consult lawmakers
The group collecting the signatures, Unlock Michigan, says it is aiming to get 500,000 signatures to turn in to the state Elections Board.
If the board declares that at least 340,000 of the signatures are valid, then the Republican-controlled legislature would likely repeal the law rather than allow it to go to a vote in 2022. Whitmer would not have the power to veto the repeal.
Whitmer has so far defeated an attempt by state lawmakers to weaken her executive powers in court, although the case is headed to the state Supreme Court.
The governor insists that the emergency orders are needed to “keep people safe.”
President Donald Trump demanded last week at a campaign rally in Michigan that Whitmer “open up your state” after she labeled the president the “biggest threat” to Americans for downplaying the virus, according to The Hill.
Keep Michigan Safe, a group formed in opposition to Unlock Michigan, said it seeks to discover improper or duplicate signatures or evidence that petition collectors lied to signatories in an attempt to thwart the drive.
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