Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaks during a press event providing an update on the state’s COVID-19 response at Dow Diamond on Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Midland, Mich. (Kaytie Boomer/The Bay City Times via AP)
UPDATED 9:37 AM PT – Thursday, June 3, 2021
A new bill in Michigan is stirring controversy. The legislation, which requires the governor to give notice when they leave the state, passed in a Senate vote Wednesday.
The bill was introduced following Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s trip to Florida in March, which she took right after telling her residents not to leave the state. Additionally, some have argued funding for her trip through a nonprofit organization violated federal tax laws.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett, said the measure was simply a means to ensure knowing who is acting in the role of governor if necessary, which apparently confused Democrats.
“What’s your real reason for wanting to know the whereabouts of the governor and wanting to be notified when the governor is away?” asked Democrat state Sen. Erika Geiss. “Nobody had this issue two terms ago.”
In the event the state House passes the bill, it would still have to be signed by Gov. Whitmer herself.