State Rep. Graham Filler and the Michigan House today approved a plan to make state government more accountable to Michigan citizens when emergency powers are exercised.
The comprehensive plan improves upon existing state laws that provide the governor and state department heads increased authority during emergency situations. These emergency powers were used more broadly than ever before during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Filler, of Clinton County, said the plan makes carefully considered changes to add transparency and ensure the people of Michigan are represented in the decisions being made at the state level.
During the pandemic, the Legislature filed a lawsuit to make sure the voices of the people all throughout the state were considered. The Supreme Court ruled against the governor’s unilateral overreach and affirmed the Legislature’s role as the people’s voice in decisions made at the state level.
“The way the governor was able to abuse the state’s emergency powers over the past few years has been eye-opening, to say the least,” Filler said. “We’re taking the lessons we learned during the pandemic and making changes to restore the transparency and accountability that were missing during Gov. Whitmer’s economic shutdown.”
Part of the plan ends the application of certain administrative authorities after 28 days, at which point the Michigan Legislature would decide whether circumstances warrant the extension of the emergency powers. The changes are modeled after one of the state’s most prominent emergency powers laws, the Emergency Management Act, which allows the governor to declare a state of emergency or disaster and issue orders for a period of 28 days, after which the Legislature may approve an extension.
A handful of bills in the package would repeal unnecessary or outdated emergency powers, some of which have seldom or never been used.
To ensure legislators are aware of the use of emergency authority, other bills would simply require the executive branch to notify the Legislature in a timely manner – typically 24 hours – after some powers are exercised.
The 30-bill package will now await further consideration in the Senate.
State Rep. Graham Filler said crime victims will have more support services and a stronger voice in the criminal justice process, thanks to legislation he helped sponsor that was signed into law today. “Crime victims, who have been terrorized and victimized, deserve resources, support, and protection during the criminal justice process,” Filler said. “These are […]
State Rep. Graham Filler today helped lead the House in approving a bipartisan plan to improve protections for vulnerable adults in Michigan. Filler, R-Clinton County, is leading the effort to improve the state’s guardianship and conservatorship system to make sure Michigan seniors and other vulnerable adults are not taken advantage of by the people who […]
State Rep. Graham Filler voted against a partisan plan to radically alter Michigan’s energy policy, voicing strong concerns that the new mandates will burden Michigan families with electricity that is more expensive and less reliable. Filler, R-Clinton County, said the plan, advanced by House Democrats, calls for utilities to have 100% clean energy by 2040, […]
State Rep. Graham Filler said House Democrats have backtracked on plans to rush House Bill 5131 through the House Government Operations Committee today. The bill, which Filler raised serious concerns about on Tuesday, creates a new Court of Appeals district and packs the courts with six new judgeships. Filler released the following statement: “House Democrats […]