The Michigan Senate is considering forming a joint committee that would have the ability to suspend rules or regulations, such as COVID-19 orders, put in place by state administrative agencies.
Under Concurrent Resolution 36, the Legislature could call a joint committee through Jan. 13 after the current session ends on Dec. 18, WDIV-TV reported.
The committee would have the power to suspend new rules and regulations, like new coronavirus restrictions issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, submitted while the Legislature is out of session.
Michigan’s current COVID-19 orders expire on Dec. 20, so anything new proposed after they expire would be subject to the new committee.
It was uncertain on Wednesday night if the resolution would go through.
The Senate is also scheduled to look at a state stimulus package on Thursday.
In response to the debate, Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s communications director Tiffany Brown said the legislature should “start listening to what the people of our state need.”
“Right now, our state needs an economic relief package to support working families and small business, funding for vaccine and PPE distribution, and a mask mandate to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” she said.
“The legislature should start listening to what the people of our state need right now and work with Governor Whitmer so we can return to a strong economy and normal day-to-day activities.”
The current coronavirus restrictions ending on Dec. 20, which ban indoor dining, youth sporting events and mandate virtual learning, were issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Whitmer has used the health department to issue COVID-19 orders after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the piece of Michigan law she used to justify her actions throughout much of 2020 was not applicable to support the unilateral extensions of her original emergency declarations.
The court’s decision “leaves open many avenues for our governor and Legislature to work together in a cooperative spirit and constitutional manner to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the follow-up order to the court’s Oct. 2 ruling said.
Members of Michigan’s Legislature have become increasingly frustrated as their desires to be involved in the decision-making process have been ignored, the Washington Examiner reported.
“The Supreme Court has told the governor that she needs to work with the Legislature. I think the onus is placed on the governor to work with the people’s chamber, unfortunately, she has not done that,” Michigan state Rep. Phil Green said after the Democratic governor announced the latest round of restrictions.
Michigan state Rep. Jack O’Malley said that the Legislature had provided a “regional plan” that was painted with a “fine brush” instead of a “roller.”
“You get the Legislature, let’s work on this together, let’s push this message forward, we do have a pandemic,” O’Malley said.
“But when you stand on the hill and plant your flag and give everybody else the raspberries, people get upset.”
The Senate is expected to vote on the resolution Thursday.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.