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Upper Michigan lawmakers respond to Gov. Whitmer’s vetoes and approvals

Nearly 250 bills were passed last year with the governor’s approval, but a bill she didn’t sign is now gaining criticism from both sides of the aisle.
 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Whitmer's office)
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, D-Michigan. (Photo courtesy of Whitmer's office) (WLUC)
Published: Jan. 12, 2021 at 4:27 PM EST
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UPPER MICHIGAN, Mich. (WLUC) - Lawmakers are reacting to Governor Gretchen Whtimer passing and vetoing several of their bills.

Nearly 250 bills were passed last year with the governor’s approval, but a bill she didn’t sign is now gaining criticism from both sides of the aisle.

“It’s the number one most prosecuted crime in the entire state,” said Rep. Beau LaFave, R-108th State House District.

According to U.P. legislators, driving while intoxicated is an offense that 2% of Michiganders have committed and a crime that can prevent many from earning a job.

First-time offenders were set to have their convictions expunged with a bill that passed the legislator.

“Over a period of seven year if you can prove that it was truly a mistake and you are sorry and you don’t do it again that you get those privileges back,” said Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-109th State House District.

According to lawmkers, the governor then vetoed the bill without an explanation to the state legislator.

The governor’s office would not respond directly to this veto, instead issuing a statement to TV6 on several end-of-year vetoes. Saying in part: “The reasons vary, including a failure to negotiate, disagreement on the underlying policy, or the complexity of the subject matter.”

Among the vetoes, a bill introduced by Representative LaFave. It was set to allow gas pumps to be operational overnight.

“In Wisconsin you can dispense fuel at like 2 a.m. or at 4 a.m. with nobody working at the gas station,” said Rep. LaFave. “In Michigan the department makes that illegal.”

It’s allowed in 33 other states and was vetoed by the governor.

Whitmer citing concerns for the environment, fuel spills and fires.

“To our knowledge there has been no fire started because of unattended fuel pumps,” said Rep. LaFave.

This as Representative Cambensy, introduced a bill aimed at clarifying laws around emotional support animals.

“We know there is a need for emotional support animals, but yet some people are choosing to get these simply because they want their pets with them,” said Rep. Cambensy.

An effort that received bipartisan support.

“To make sure that when folks say that they have an emotional support animal that, that is the genuine thing and they aren’t just like, ‘Hey I want to bring my horse inside,’” said Sen. Ed McBroom, R-38th State Senate District.

The governor says she vetoed it because of “an intrusion on people with disabilities.”

In the midst of several vetoes, Senator McBroom was able to pass a bill to change a code that will help those rehabbing large buildings into residential spaces.

“The person who owned the building was using a strange part of the law to avoid paying the contractor basically,” said Sen. McBroom.

There are many other bills introduced by U.P. lawmakers that were passed and vetoed by the governor earlier in the year, you can find them here.

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