NFIB Applauds “Unlock Michigan” Ballot Goal Achievement

With word that the drive for what’s being called the “Unlock Michigan” ballot initiative has surpassed the half-million signature goal in its petition drive, one of the state’s leading small business organizations is loudly applauding that achievement, noting the irony that it comes in the middle of “Michigan Small Business Week.”

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), says the announcement today that the “Unlock Michigan” ballot initiative crossed the 500,000 signature goal and is expected to have all signatures submitted for processing by Friday is great news.

NFIB State Director Charlie Owens says, “It is both fitting and ironic that this is the best news to come out during the week that the governor has proclaimed ‘Michigan Small Business Week’, and adds, “This marks the beginning of the end to this governor’s unilateral actions that have hit small businesses in our state the hardest.”

The “Unlock Michigan” ballot initiative would repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945 (Public Act 302 of 1945). Governor Whitmer has been using that Act to continue the “State of Emergency” and issue executive orders that do not require legislative oversight or approval.

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Owens contends, “The governor has issued almost two hundred executive orders since March that have often been arbitrary, conflicting, and difficult to implement for Michigan small business,” and adds, “While it remains to be seen if the Secretary of State and the Bureau of Elections will drag their feet in moving the initiative through the process, one thing is certain – sooner or later the governor will be stripped of these powers that allow her to declare a perpetual state of emergency.”

Owens was referring to statements made by the Secretary of State that it takes at least 100 days for the Bureau of Elections to review petition signatures for validity and produce a staff report recommending certification or rejection to the Board of State Canvassers. There are 100 days remaining in the year. In a recent court case, the Director of the Bureau of Elections indicated that it takes approximately 60 days to complete the process.

Owens says that NFIB is the only statewide business organization to fully support the ballot initiative, noting, “The Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945 is an outdated law that was passed to address instances of rioting and acts of violence that were of concern towards the end of World War II.” He argues, “The 1976 law was intended to be a more modern and flexible statute that allows a governor to respond to an emergency while preserving the Constitutional balance of power in state government.”

For more than 75 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven. Since being founded in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses, and remains so today. For more information, you can visit online at: http://nfib.com