Cambensy votes to approve ‘Unlock Michigan’ initiative to eliminate gov’s emergency powers

MARQUETTE — State Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, voted on Wednesday to approve a voter initiative that would eliminate the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act, “urging her legislative colleagues and the governor to work together in a bipartisan effort to establish a new law,” according to a news release from Cambensy’s office.

The initiative was passed Wednesday on a 60-48 vote. Four Democrats joined Republicans in passing the initiative, according to Cambensy’s office.

“Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, I have urged my fellow lawmakers to work toward a meaningful replacement of the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act — a bipartisan replacement that would allow the legislative and executive branch to work together during a pandemic or other crisis,” Cambensy said in the release. “We need a bipartisan plan that recognizes and respects the regional differences that exist in our vast state, all while keeping every Michigander equally safe.”

Cambensy said in the release she “feels all sides can work together on a solution but spoke on the House floor about the importance of building consensus on how to go forward.”

“What we’re doing now is wasting precious time,” Cambensy said. “We need to respect the Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling. I challenge my colleagues to work together — with the governor and across the aisle — to create legislation that clearly defines how we will deal with pandemics going forward. Our constituents deserve it.”

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act was unconstitutional on Oct. 2.

Earlier this month, the Michigan Board of Canvassers was told again by the Michigan Supreme Court to certify the “Unlock Michigan” voter initiative petitions, which garnered over 500,000 valid signatures to overturn the law, according to Cambensy’s office. Under the Michigan Constitution, the Legislature can pull voter initiatives off of the ballot and vote to approve or deny them. If they do, the governor cannot veto the initiative.


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