Gretchen Whitmer Vetoes Bill Exempting Graduation Ceremonies from Crowd Restrictions

Students prepare to walk out on the football field for their graduation ceremony at Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School on May 21, 2021 in Bradley, Illinois. Because of social distancing mandates instituted by the state to curtail the spread of COVID-19, last year's graduates were presented with their diplomas in an …
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) vetoed a bill that would have exempted graduation crowds from her coronavirus capacity restrictions.

The governor blasted Republicans after they passed the legislation and claimed there was no issue.

“This bill is a solution in search of a problem,” Whitmer said, NBC 6 reported. “Rather than sending me half-baked and punchless legislation like HB 4728, I encourage the Legislature to join me in eradicating this pandemic and making transformational investments in our economy.”

Whitmer is maintaining indoor capacity limits at 50 percent until July 1. In recent days, she has waffled on whether restrictions still in effect would actually be lifted that day.

Roseville Community Schools will be holding a “drive-up” ceremony for seniors because Whitmer’s order remains in effect.

According to the Detroit News, “About 300 seniors will be in their vehicles when they ‘drive up’ and graduate.”

“It takes a lot of planning to put these together and you can’t change on a whim,” superintendent Mark Blaszkowski told the paper. “We have three weeks left. Let’s ride it out and do what we have been doing.”

Berkley High School limited guests to four per graduate, despite the event being held outdoors. Utica Community Schools allowed just two guests per senior.

The governor waited nearly three weeks to veto the bill after it had been passed by the Michigan Senate.

Whitmer also vetoed a bill that would have prevented a governor from decreasing transparency by suspending the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) during an emergency. By executive order, Whitmer suspended FOIA requests for 60 days last spring.

“This order was designed to protect the lives of public officials tasked with responding to FOIA requests during the first surge — and exceptionally frightening and uncertain moment in Michigan’s history,” Whitmer responded, the Detroit Free Press reported.

“(The executive order) was limited in scope and did not change FOIA’s core requirement that public bodies respond to FOIA requests in a timely manner.”

The FOIA bill overwhelmingly passed the House, making an override a possibility.

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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