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Whitmer, GOP-led Legislature clash in wake of Supreme Court ruling

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Posted at 9:55 PM, Oct 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-06 21:55:03-04

LANSING, Mich. — While the state health department issues orders to reinstate many COVID regulations, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Republican-led legislature are clashing over how to move forward.

"As a result of the court’s action, the legislators' action, our COVID-19 cases could likely go up,” Governor Whitmer said.

At the capitol Tuesday, Governor Whitmer called out Republican lawmakers while addressing the Supreme Court ruling that took away her emergency orders aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

“While the Supreme Court has spoken and while I vehemently disagree with the conclusion, now is the time for the Republicans in the Legislature to come back to town and start showing that they take this crisis seriously too. I am ready to work with the Legislature, but I am never going to negotiate when it comes to doing the right thing and protecting the people’s health,” Whitmer said.

That comment striking a nerve with Republicans in the Legislature.

Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, tweeted in part, “We’ve been in session all during COVID, yet the governor has refused to work with us, now she’s claiming were not in town. The hypocrisy is astounding.”

“We've been in session. We've kept calendar open.” State Rep. Greg VanWoerkom, R-Norton Shores said.

VanWoerkom tells FOX 17, working with the governor is what they've wanted all along.

“It's been pretty clear from even March that we wanted to be at the table, we wanted to have a voice, we want to have a voice for our constituents on these decisions because the issues that are happening in Macomb are different than the issues that are happening in Muskegon, which are different than what's happening in Menominee,” VanWoerkom said.

“We understand the importance of this issue, we understand it's important to people's lives and their livelihoods, that there is nothing more important to us right now make sure that people are safe,” he added.

The Legislature is now set to return this week to act on COVID relief, the senate will begin meeting on October 8, the house will follow on the 13th.