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Board of State Canvassers considers two petitions related to Whitmer's use of emergency powers

people signing petitions
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The Board of State Canvassers will consider two petitions Monday, both related to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's use of emergency powers during the pandemic.

One petition is sponsored by a single individual, Michael Garabelli. It seeks to recall the governor for some of her actions during the coronavirus crisis, including an executive order that prohibited evicting residents from long-term care nursing facilities.

If approved, the petition would need to get more than a million signatures in two months. That's almost impossible.  

But the other petition is backed by leading Republicans in the state legislature, who have urged the governor to lift several pandemic restrictions sooner than her public health officials said was wise.    Backers of the petition have asked the Board of State Canvassers to approve the summary language that will appear at the top of the form shown to voters.

The petition seeks to repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945, a law that allows a governor of the state of Michigan to extend a state of emergency without seeking approval by the state legislature every 28 days. 

That petition, if the summary is approved, has 180 days to get about 340,000 signatures. 

If that petition succeeds, the state legislature is expected to adopt it, rather than placing it on the ballot for voters to decide.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Radio. She began her career at Michigan Radio as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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