Rep. Phil Green this week voted in support of a measure to provide legislative oversight of Michigan health orders issued during a pandemic or similar emergency.
The measure would limit emergency rules issued by the Department of Health and Human Services to 28 days and require legislative approval for an extension. This would align health rule practice with the 1976 law requiring legislative approval to extend a state of emergency declared by the governor beyond 28 days.
“The Michigan Supreme Court made it clear that even during times of emergency, the Legislature and the governor should be working together to do what’s best for our state,” said Green, of Millington. “The current law related to health rules doesn’t have a time limit for legislative approval to kick in – but it should, and it should mirror our state of emergency law. The governor can’t extend a state of emergency beyond 28 days without legislative approval, and a governor’s department head should not be allowed to do so either.”
Another part of the plan will restore balance by reining in the broad authority the DHHS currently has when issuing emergency health orders. It would prohibit state government from forcing a business to close if it is complying with health and safety precautions.
The legislation – Senate Bill 1253 – will soon advance to the governor for her consideration.
State Rep. Phil Green, of Millington, today joined the majority of his legislative colleagues in approving the Unlock Michigan citizens’ initiative, repealing the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act that Gov. Whitmer used to declare an extended state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rep. Green talks about his HB 4838, which would prohibit voting machines from being connected to the internet from the time the polls open until the results have been tabulated for that precinct. The measure, which Rep. Green says codifies Secretary of State best practices, is currently before the full House.