Legislature approves Theis bill to block health orders beyond 28 days
LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Lana Theis announced Tuesday that she has been appointed to the newly-formed Joint Committee on Inter-Session Rules and Regulations.
The committee was established last Friday upon the adoption of Senate Concurrent Resolution 36. The joint Senate-House committee will be empowered to act between the current, outgoing legislative session and the forthcoming 101st Legislature, to suspend any rule or regulation issued by an administrative agency, such as the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).
“Instead of working together as one team to lead Michigan through this crisis, the governor and her team of unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats have gone it alone, month after month, rejecting the voice of the people through their Legislature. But make no mistake, the people have a voice and it will be heard,” said Theis, R-Brighton. “Too many have died from COVID-19, and too many have lost their jobs, businesses and homes because of the governor and her administration’s response to the virus.”
The joint committee consists of three members from the Senate and House, respectively. Each chamber shall be represented by two Republicans and one Democrat on the committee.
The Legislature last Friday also approved Theis’ bill that would limit emergency orders issued by DHHS and all local public health orders to 28 days and require that any extension of such orders receive legislative approval before taking effect.
The bill would revoke the DHHS director’s ability to infringe on people’s religious liberties to freely worship and allow any business that is subject to a health order to remain open if they maintain the health and safety precautions followed by businesses that are not ordered closed.
If signed into law, the bill would have an effective date retroactive to Nov. 15, 2020.
“The state Supreme Court made it clear that even after declaring an emergency, Gov. Whitmer does not have the right to extend her orders without the Legislature’s approval,” Theis said. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander — if the governor must, then so should the DHHS director. My bill will ensure the people have a say in the matter, and I urge our governor to support the bill. We all face these challenges together, and we should join to overcome them together.”