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Politics & Government

Gov. Whitmer vetoes pandemic related bills

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used her veto pen Wednesday to reject a series of Republican bills aimed at curbing her power during the pandemic.

The governor issued 13 vetoes, covering a wide range of bills.

Three bills vetoed by the governor are directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With one of her vetoes, Whitmer rejected a bill to amend the Public Health Code to create a 28-day limit on emergency orders issued to control an epidemic. In her veto message, the governor wrote the bill would unreasonably place an “unscientific and arbitrary time limit” on Michigan’s response not only to this pandemic, but to future health emergencies.

The governor also vetoed an extension of liability immunity for health care providers.

Whitmer says COVID-19 remains persistent and deadly.  But she contends immunity from liability, however, is no longer appropriate under the circumstances.

“When a COVID-19 patient receives substandard care, they should not be deprived of their day in court,” wrote Whitmer. 

Sen. Curt VanderWall (R- Ludington) criticized the governor, saying she praises doctors and nurses, but “her actions speak louder and her words.”

“Instead of having the backs of those risking their lives to battle this virus,” says VanderWall, “(Gov. Whitmer) is siding with trial lawyers eager to sue them.”

The governor also vetoed a repeal of a 1945 law which she cited early in the pandemic when issuing executive orders. The Michigan Supreme Court later issued an opinion that the law was unconstitutional.  

For most of 2020, the Democratic governor has been at odds with Republican legislative leaders over how the state needs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To date, 488,144 Michiganders have tested positive for the coronavirus and 12,333 have died.

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