LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Republicans who control the Michigan Legislature have spent about $542,000 suing Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over her use of emergency powers during the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate and House released the figure to a liberal group, Progress Michigan, last week. It was the same day the state Supreme Court ruled against the governor in a similar lawsuit to the Legislature’s. The Whitmer administration has quickly reinstituted a mask requirement and gathering limits under a law that's not an issue in the legal challenges. The $542,000 of public money has paid attorneys at Bush Seyferth, a Troy-based law firm.
Meantime, Michigan’s health department has issued a mask requirement and other coronavirus restrictions just days after the state Supreme Court’s invalidation of a 75-year-old emergency powers law that underpinned Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s orders to control the pandemic. Whitmer on Monday asked the Supreme Court to declare its ruling not binding until Oct. 30, to give her administration, the Republican-led Legislature and local health departments time to put alternative measures in place. The ruling nullified all virus-related orders issued after April 30. It means Whitmer must negotiate with lawmakers to extend a state of emergency and any new orders she writes.