Legislative Updates & News

Last week, we learned some truly horrific news: the FBI, Michigan State Police, and Attorney General had foiled a domestic terrorist plot and charged 13 men with planning to kidnap Governor Whitmer, along with details that they’d planned to storm the state Capitol with “200 men,” take hostages, kill police officers and more.

Back in April, I sounded the alarm that the protests we were seeing in Lansing contained an element of something much darker than residents’ fear and frustration over shutdowns and emergency orders in a response to COVID-19. We saw swastikas, Confederate flags, nooses and some with signs threatening to hang the Governor — people with ulterior motives clearly taking advantage of the rising tension during the pandemic for their own gain.

This past week, we learned that three of the men who were photographed in full tactical gear carrying high-powered rifles in the Senate gallery — directly behind our heads — were three of the men charged in this violent plot.

NBC News asked me to write a follow-up to my first op-ed after those initial protests, and I shared my thoughts this past weekend. You can read that here: The Gov. Whitmer kidnapping plot was inspired by common political rhetoric. It needs to end. (NBC News)

I want to be very clear. I don’t claim to know the political leanings of these men, nor should we care. I know that most people: Republican, Democrat, and Independent — stand united in opposition to hatred, intimidation, and threats of violence. We can and should disagree on policy — even passionately so — without resorting to dangerous rhetoric against each other as people. But I will not stand quiet when leaders in our own legislature and higher offices are openly meeting with and encouraging such groups. It creates a dangerous situation for all of us and moves us further away from standing united against any and all threats against us as Michiganders and Americans.

I’m eternally grateful to everyone in the FBI, MSP, AG’s office and others who worked diligently over months to surveil and bring these men in before something catastrophic happened to our Governor, her family, or any of the staff, visitors, or my colleagues at the Capitol.

In this Edition:

COVID-19 SAFETY ORDER UPDATES

Early last week, the Michigan Supreme Court declared the extended use of the 1945 emergency powers law unconstitutional in a 4-3 split vote, immediately rendering any of the Executive Orders issued after April 30th, 2020 void. In order to maintain our course of managing the COVID-19 pandemic and protecting our state, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order under MCL 333.2253 restricting gathering sizes, requiring face coverings in public spaces and placing limitations on bars and other venues, as they have the authority to do under a separate statute.

These authorities were first enacted after the Spanish Flu of 1918, and were not at issue in the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision.

Under MCL 333.2253, if the MDHHS director determines that control of an epidemic is necessary to protect the public health, the director by emergency order may prohibit the gathering of people for any purpose and may establish procedures to be followed during the epidemic to insure continuation of essential public health services and enforcement of health laws.

Additionally, The Michigan Occupational Safety & Health Administration (MIOSHA) has issued emergency rules to clarify requirements for employers to control, prevent, and mitigate the spread of infection. Learn more at https://bit.ly/2SXlorH.

OAKLAND COUNTY UPDATE 

Oakland County will be following the emergency order issued by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon, requiring face coverings in public spaces and placing limitations on bars and other venues.

This statewide order includes:

>> Click here to learn more about Oakland County’s plan of action and response.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE

IN THE NEWS

WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO

ASK A CLERK! VOTING/ELECTION VIRTUAL COFFEE HOUR

Today we are hosting a special ASK A CLERK! virtual event on Facebook LIVE. Get all your election and voting questions answered from our very own expert clerks, Tina Barton (Rochester Hills) and Melanie Halas (Royal Oak). Our office has been asked questions about what happens if a ballot is turned in without a secrecy sleeve, or what if the ink bleeds through the ballot, and more! That’s why we are bringing the experts to you.

This event will be held live on Facebook and will be posting on our YouTube later today. If you can’t make it and have any questions you would like to ask our clerks, please send them to us at SenMMcMorrow@senate.michigan.gov with the subject line “Ask a Clerk.” 


More news:

Legislative Updates & News Senate Democrats: ‘Petition gatherers should not be lying to the public’ Sen. McMorrow Supports Lt. Governor Gilchrist’s Call for Masks on Session Floor

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