LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Lana Theis released the following statement on Monday after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Department of Health and Human Services sidestepped a state Supreme Court ruling last Friday by handing down sweeping COVID-19 restrictions:
“In the face of a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic, and despite those who would wish to tear us apart, now more than ever it is time for this state’s elected leaders to rise to the occasion and join as one Michigan to battle COVID-19 together.
“After months of the Legislature making every conceivable effort to work with the governor, the state Supreme Court recently highlighted the Legislature’s role as a co-equal branch of our representative republic. In response, the Senate again offered to partner with the governor to address the state’s needs in response to the coronavirus. We acted quickly and passed several COVID-19 protection measures to support unemployed workers, to protect seniors in nursing homes, and to allow local governments to meet virtually — all so our state can operate safely.
“Unfortunately, we have the only governor who has continually refused to interact with the state Legislature, even now when faced with a Supreme Court decision. Our governor continues to ignore the voice of the people, and instead of recognizing the opportunity to work together after the court’s decision, Gov. Whitmer is flagrantly ignoring her moral obligation as she pursues more questionable behavior by directing unelected bureaucrats to extend her unconstitutional orders. It is condescending and disrespectful to our highest court and the residents of Michigan who hired their legislators to be their voice.
“The governor may not like it, but the court’s ruling underscores the fact that we live in a society whose government derives its power from the people it works for. In a representative government with checks and balances, the people have a voice through their Legislature, and it must be heard.
“The threats posed by this virus and the resulting health and economic impacts are not over, and the longer divisiveness rules the day, the worse off we all are going to be. We must work together, and I remain committed to doing so responsibly, in a bipartisan manner, with my legislative colleagues and the governor for the safety of the people of this great state.”