Veto-Proof Michigan House Majority Passes Bill Refunding Coronavirus Fines After Gretchen Whitmer Hypocrisy

In this photo provided by the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor, Gov. Gretchen Whi
Michigan Executive Office of the Governor via AP

A veto-proof majority of Michigan representatives passed a bill Tuesday that would require the state to refund coronavirus-related fines after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) was caught violating her own order.

By a 74-34 vote, the state House swiftly passed HB 4501, a bill brought up for consideration after Breitbart News busted Whitmer for violating her restaurant table capacity order last weekend.

If the governor can violate her orders without any repercussions, then why should our business owners be fined,” state Rep. Steve Johnson (R) wondered.

Watch his floor speech:

The fines and penalties have been significantly related to Whitmer’s executive orders, later ruled unconstitutional by the Michigan Supreme Court.

The Center Square reported Whitmer’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity issued 96 fines totaling $259,200. There are 112 “open” cases for alleged violations with potential fines that could amount to another $364,200. Currently, 29 of those are under appeal.

Breitbart News reported Wednesday about 56 restaurants and bars punished by the Whitmer administration over her orders. Johnson cited other businesses, including home builders and office equipment providers, that have also been hit.

The municipality most aggressive at citing individuals and businesses is by far the city of Detroit. In February, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy dismissed over 1,600 citations issued by Detroit police or health officials enforcing Whitmer’s orders.

Worthy said there was “no legal basis” to prosecute the alleged offenders.

Grand Rapids — Michigan’s second-largest city — issued zero coronavirus order-related tickets, a police department representative told Breitbart News. Sterling Heights, the state’s fourth-largest city, wrote 12 tickets, a spokesman said. Lansing issued 10 “written reports,” which were referrals for potential prosecution, the police department told Breitbart News.

On Saturday, Whitmer and at least 12 others dined at The Landshark, a dive bar in the college town of East Lansing. Whitmer claimed the group pushed tables together, violating her restaurant table capacity order.

The order, which requires tables to be six feet apart and bans groups larger than six, was revised after Whitmer’s violation and will expire June 1.

“Yesterday, I went with friends to a local restaurant. As more people arrived, the tables were pushed together,” Whitmer admitted after the Breitbart News exclusive report.

“Because we were all vaccinated, we didn’t stop to think about it,” she claimed.

“In retrospect, I should have thought about it. I am human. I made a mistake, and I apologize,” the governor said.

Kyle Olson is a reporter for Breitbart News. He is also host of “The Kyle Olson Show,” syndicated on Michigan radio stations on Saturdays–download full podcast episodes. Follow him on Parler.


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