Michigan lawmaker introduces plan to limit governor’s powers during states of emergencies

Rep. Jason Sheppard (Michigan House of Republicans)

DETROIT – Michigan Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Monroe) introduced a plan Thursday he says is designed to limit the governor’s powers during states of emergency.

Sheppard described Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order as overreach, saying it is restrictive and holds "Michigan residents hostage in their homes.”

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Sheppard’s plan would reduce the number of days the governor can declare an emergency from 28 to 14. After 14 days, a review from the Legislature would be required. It would also allow for a civil fine for a violation of an emergency order, rather than criminal penalties.

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"The governor is playing with people’s constitutional rights,” Sheppard said. “She has stripped residents of their property rights by prohibiting travel from one residence to another. In addition, the governor has interfered with commerce by prohibiting Michiganians from purchasing certain goods.”

Whitmer’s order has led to backlash, including a protest in Lansing on Wednesday.

Sheppard said he has been urging Whitmer to adopt guidelines that deem more jobs as essential.

“As elected representatives of the people, we have a responsibility to constantly review the situation and make adjustments when necessary to protect the rights of residents and prevent overreach during future states of emergency,” Sheppard said.

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