Whitmer, GOP lawmakers clash over environmental order

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The first tussle between Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Republican-led Legislature isn't over how to fix roads, overhaul school funding or tackle high car insurance premiums.

Instead, they're clashing over the environment - specifically how Michigan adopts regulations and permit requirements for businesses and citizens. It's also a fight over executive vs. legislative powers, with both sides justly pointing to the law to back them up.

Whitmer abolished three panels enacted by GOP lawmakers and her predecessor. One oversees environmental rule-making and another can approve, modify or reverse permit decisions that have been challenged by companies or other parties.

Whitmer thinks the commissions violate federal law.

Republicans disagree and may be on the verge of negating her order, which is a rarely used option under the constitution.