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State Senate GOP Shuts Down Whitmer Board Appointments Until Lockdowns Lifted

The Michigan Senate refused to confirm 13 individuals appointed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to various state boards and commissions on Wednesday. In a party-line vote, the Senate’s GOP majority defeated the nominations 19-14.

On Jan. 13, Republican state Sen. Jim Stamas stated in a press release that Whitmer’s appointments would be rejected until the administration ended COVID lockdowns and permitted the state to reopen.

“The governor is continuing punitive lockdowns and jeopardizing lives and livelihoods — while state government has largely been unaffected,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “People have suggested that the governor and her department heads not get paid until they allow restaurants and other family businesses to reopen and their workers to earn their paychecks. However, since we are constitutionally restricted from doing that, I am calling on Chairman Nesbitt to reject appointments by the governor until our economy is safely reopened.”

The vote is the most recent in a political struggle between Michigan Republican legislative majorities and the Democratic governor over the extent and duration of ongoing state-ordered lockdowns of business and society. For example, last spring Whitmer vetoed legislation that would have limited how long she may impose executive orders under a law authorizing them during a declared state of emergency.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.