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Michigan Legislature repeals state’s 76-year-old emergency powers act

by DETROIT FREE PRESS (TNS) | July 22, 2021 at 3:58 a.m.

DETROIT — A 76-year-old Michigan law crafted in the wake of Detroit race riots and used more recently to combat a generational health crisis is officially dead.

The Republican-controlled state House voted 60-48 along party lines in support of initiative petition language that repeals the Emergency Powers Act of 1945. The vote was taken one week after the state Senate also approved the initiative.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used the law to issue health and safety restrictions in the early days of the covid-19 pandemic.

“Hundreds of thousands of our families, friends and neighbors changed Michigan forever when they decided they had enough and stood up to make a difference,” said Speaker Jason Wentworth, a Republican, said in a statement. “They deserve a state government that is willing to do the same. They’ve earned that much. That’s why we had their back today and put this petition into law.” Democrats blasted the initiative effort and opposed repealing the law, arguing the power is needed and lawmakers should allow the petition to go to voters in the form of a ballot question.

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