LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, issued the following statement on Thursday after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed Senate Bill 1, which would have limited emergency orders issued by the Department of Health and Human Services to 28 days and require that any extension of such orders receive legislative approval before taking effect:
“Gov. Whitmer’s rhetoric has once again failed to meet her reality. She maintains that her number one priority is the safety and well-being of Michiganders. But safety and well-being mean more than her narrow interpretation. Her actions, and the actions of her health department, have throughout the past year endangered the financial safety and economic well-being of the very people she claims to want to protect.
“Senate Bill 1, and similar legislation the governor vetoed last year, sought the same protections that she desires, when emergencies are imminent and such protections are immediately necessary. All this bill would have done is simply ensured that the people, through their Legislature, have a say in extending emergency public health orders after 28 days — just like is the case when a governor would want to. If the governor herself can’t extend such orders, why should an unelected state employee be able to?
“Sadly, as before, the governor did what we all knew she would do and proved again with her veto that unilateral power is more important than working together or even people’s livelihoods. If the veto itself wasn’t proof enough, the recent arrest of Marlena Pavlos-Hackney — a Michigan resident, business owner and political refugee who was jailed for political reasons for operating her family business — should make it crystal clear.
“If the past year fighting the coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that we all face such challenges together. Instead of seeking division, we should be joining to overcome them. Senate Bill 1 would have ensured the voice of the people could again be heard when making these decisions in Lansing. While the governor may have ended things with her veto, I can assure you that the people will not give up.”