Whitmer, a Democrat, can not veto the petition.
The Michigan Senate’s 20-15 vote got here two days after the Board of State Canvassers licensed the petition, which was began by a bunch referred to as Unlock Michigan that gathered over 340,000 signatures.
The board deadlocked 2-2 in April however voted 3-0 this time round.
The petition took goal at the 1945 Emergency Powers Act that enabled Whitmer to impose harsh restrictions on state residents through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Republicans on the Senate ground earlier than the vote praised the petition and mentioned it was wanted to curb Whitmer’s energy.
“This initiative represents a individuals’s veto of this governor and the limitless energy that she’s tried to assert throughout this pandemic,” state Sen. Tom Barrett, a Republican, informed colleagues.
Michigan Senate Majority Chief Mike Shirkey, one other Republican, mentioned the petition “doesn’t take energy away” however “reassesses the place the facility belongs.”
Democrats provided totally different explanations for his or her “no” votes.
State Sen. Mallory McMorrow, a Democrat, argued that the legislature is “a deliberatively sluggish shifting physique.”
“However when an emergency faces our state, we don’t have the luxurious of time. That’s what this legislature of the previous put into place. And I couldn’t in good conscience help or measure to take away these powers and put future residents in danger if the chief of the state doesn’t have the power to behave shortly,” she mentioned.
A Whitmer spokesperson didn’t reply to a request for remark.
A Michigan Home of Representatives GOP spokesman informed information shops that the chamber will vote on the petition quickly. If it doesn’t inside roughly one month, or if the vote fails, then voters will determine on whether or not to repeal the emergency powers regulation within the subsequent election.
Republicans management each chambers of the legislature in Michigan.
If the Home follows the Senate, then an emergency declaration will likely be good for 28 days earlier than requiring the legislature’s approval to be prolonged.
The vote on Thursday got here after a sequence of developments, together with a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Courtroom that the emergency powers regulation was unconstitutional. The court docket later ordered the Board of State Canvassers to certify the petition after the board deadlocked alongside social gathering traces, with Republicans voting for and Democrats in opposition to, in April.
Unlock Michigan, in the meantime, acquired approval this week for a brand new petition that may restrict emergency powers for the Michigan Division of Well being. Unlock Michigan spokesperson Fred Wzolek told The Epoch Instances that the petition was “one other step to maintain Whitmer from ruling by decree on her personal.”
Steven Kovac contributed to this report.