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Whitmer vetoes bill to constrain health order power

Lansing Capitol by Joe Dearman is licensed with CC BY 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed another attempt by the Legislature to contain her efforts to manage the COVID-19 crisis in Michigan.

The bill would have required the Legislature to vote on whether to extend an order from the state Department of Health and Human Services beyond 28 days.

The veto places in question the future of 300 million dollars in COVID response federal funds. The legislation linked the power to spend those funds with Whitmer’s signature on the bill. 

In her veto letter, Whitmer said health emergencies don’t always end after 28 days and she would not place a time limit on the department’s emergency powers. Republicans could attempt a veto override, but they don’t have the necessary super-majorities in the House and the Senate.