LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Organizers said Monday they will begin collecting voter signatures within days for a veto-proof measure that would repeal a law that has given Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broad emergency powers during the pandemic.
The ballot committee Unlock Michigan announced its plan after the state elections board approved a summary of the petition. It would rescind a 1945 law that the Democratic governor has cited to close businesses, limit gathering sizes and restrict other activities to curb the coronavirus.
The group, which has ties to Republicans, needs about 340,000 valid signatures. If enough are gathered within a 180-day period, the repeal legislation could be enacted by the GOP-controlled Legislature and not be vetoed.
The committee’s website features a video of Karl Manke, the Owosso barber who reopened early in defiance of Whitmer’s stay-at-home order. She later let barbershops open as part of a gradual restart of the state’s economy.
Unlock Michigan spokesman Fred Wszolek said the governor should not be able to continually stretch her state of emergency declaration — the underpinning for her restrictions. In May, Whitmer prevailed in court when a judge ruled she could use the 1945 law to extend the emergency despite not getting legislative approval under a 1976 law.
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