Should The Governor Of Michigan Inform Leaders When They Leave The State, Senate Votes Yes

You would have thought this was a no-brainer.  

You would have thought that there was something already in place that assured Michigan Legislature leaders would know when the Governor has left the state and the next in line of succession is the acting Governor.

The answer was apparently no.

I was informed that there was never a problem with the former Governor’s informing the Michigan Legislature leaders when they left the state.  That was until Governor Whitmer was voted into office, she apparently does not believe anyone should know where she is.

That is why the Michigan Senate decided to make it a law and I completely agree with them.  The bill (SB-458) is sponsored by Senator Tom Barrett, R-Charlotte.

Yesterday the Republican-controlled Senate passed Senate Bill 458 that states:

"(1) Beginning on the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section, the governor shall notify the individual that will assume the powers and duties of the office of the governor in accordance with section 26 of article V of the state constitution of 1963 before the governor leaves this state for any purpose and when the governor returns to this state.

(2) An individual that assumes the powers and duties of the office of the governor in accordance with section 26 of article V of the state constitution of 1963 shall make a good-faith effort to deliver notice to the following individuals no later than 12 hours after assuming the powers and duties of the office of the governor:

(a) The senate majority leader.

(b) The senate minority leader.

(c) The speaker of the house of representatives.

(d) The minority leader of the house of representatives.

(3) The notice required under subsection (2) must meet both of the following requirements:

(a) Be in writing.

(b) State the expected duration of the governor's absence."

Senator Tom Barrett said:

"We are asking to know, if you read the bill, who is fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of the governor...It says nothing about knowing where the location of the governor is, what their travel routes are, where they're staying, where they're going, what they're doing, whose billionaire jet they're on. ... We're not asking for that."

Sounds very reasonable to me.  It did not to the Michigan Senate Democrats.  The bill passed the Senate on a Party-line vote 20-16.

Senator Curtis Hertel, D-East Lansing, voted against this bill and stated:

"If you are wondering where the governor lives, it's in a space rent free in the sponsor's head...This legislation is the equivalent of an internet troll."

I spoke to Senator Hertel about this Bill yesterday and asked him why he voted against the bill he told me:

“I believe that it is a violation of powers as laid out in the 1963 constitution”

Senator Hertel gave a speech on the floor of the Senate before the vote and never brought up his concern about his belief the bill is unconstitutional.

As a side note, the Detroit News reported this bill as:

“The Republican-controlled Michigan’s Senate voted Wednesday to require that legislative leaders be notified when Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer leaves the state and another official assumes her powers.”

I gave you the verbiage of the entire Bill, did you see in the bill the name Gretchen Whitmer?  The answer is no, so why did the Detroit News reporter write what he wrote?

I will give you three guesses and the first two do not count.

The Live with Renk show airs Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, to let me know your thoughts call (269) 441-9595

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