LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday approved a legislative effort that would override Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order restructuring the state’s department of environmental quality.
The order, which was issued earlier this month, would have transformed the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) into the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy, while also nullifying laws approved by the Legislature last term.
“We all share the governor’s concerns and want to ensure residents have safe, clean drinking water and that the environment and Great Lakes are preserved for future generations,” said Sen. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “The Legislature has a constitutional duty to review executive orders. In this case, the governor did not simply reorganize a state department as she saw fit, she went beyond that and vacated laws that were approved by the Legislature and signed into law.”
The executive order eliminated Public Acts 267, 268 and 269 of 2018. The bills created oversight panels within the DEQ that sought to rein in overzealous regulators and ensure all Michigan residents can directly interact with their government on regulatory issues.
House Concurrent Resolution 1 disapproves the governor’s executive order pursuant to the Legislature’s constitutional authority and protects the previous public acts.
“This does not end any discussions or nullify any of the department’s important work,” Bumstead said. “As chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the DEQ budget, I look forward to working with the department director and governor to continue this conversation and ensure the needs of Michigan residents are met.”