MI House Speaker says Republicans tried to cooperate with Whitmer but she chose to 'do it alone' with orders
FOX 2 - “There’s a lot of confusion out there, obviously a lot of questions,” said Rep. James Sheppard (R-56th DIstrict).
After a ruling from The Michigan Supreme Court Friday - saying that many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 emergency orders are not legal, the governor and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon - filed a motion with the Michigan Supreme Court Monday requesting they clarify that the ruling doesn’t take effect until October 30th.
“What was unconstitutional in May is still unconstitutional in October," said Lee Chatfield, (R) speaker of the House of Representatives. "What was unconstitutional this week is still unconstitutional next week.”
Late Monday The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an executive order that supports Whitmer's earlier orders of wearing masks in public, social distancing and public gathering restrictions.
Whitmer says if the ruling went into effect immediately, up to 830,000 Michigan workers could lose unemployment benefits, and measures meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 would lapse. In a statement Whitmer says, in part:
"Right now, every state and the federal government have some form of a declared emergency. With this decision, Michigan will become the sole outlier at a time when the Upper Peninsula is experiencing rates of COVID infection not seen in our state since April."
“Back in April, early May, we extended our hand of cooperation to the governor. She rejected it. We wanted to work together and cooperate. she chose to do it alone," Chatfield said.
Friday the Supreme Court ruled Whitmer illegally drew authority from a 1945 law that simply - doesn’t apply. One major issue the court pointed out: redeclaring states of emergency. The emergency was meant to last 28 days.
Whitmer apparently has made 180 executive orders since April 30th.
"This should be a message to the governor," Chatfield said. "This should be a message to the governor, we have to cooperate and negotiate."
Whitmer released a video late Monday night encouraging the use of masks.
She tweeted, "COVID-19 didn’t stop being a threat because of the court ruling, because we’re tired of it, or because the legislature left town. We all have to do our part, because when it comes to fighting this virus, we are all in this together."
And as we await more information, most can agree that abiding by CDC regulations - like frequent hand washing, practicing social distancing and wearing masks when around others should be practiced.
“Be patient, be flexible, have your masks with you," Sheppard said. "Respect business owners and what their preferences are.”
Michigan Rep. Lee Chatfield (R) speaker of the House of Representatives