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Michigan Ranks Dead Last in the Nation, But It's Not Too Late

May 31, 2017

In support of House Bills 4425 and 4426

A Statement by Allison Lucas, JD

 

The Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity are two nonprofit organizations that promote government transparency and ethics. These nonprofits conducted a nationwide study in 2015 and concluded that Michigan ranks dead last in the Nation. The issues today are a perfect example of why Michigan received an F in this nationwide survey.

MDHHS is creating unfettered legislation via administrative rule and no one is doing anything about it.

Administrative rules have force and effect of law without the safeguards provided by the legislative process. To summarize what was presented to the committee today, the administrative rule amendments at issue are improper, unethical, illegal, and unconstitutional for the following three reasons.

 

  1. DHHS enacted a rule that would have never made it through the rigors of the legislative process. It knew that. So it knowingly circumvented legislative procedure to get what it wanted. DHHS has prevented you from representing your constituents on these very controversial issues. DHHS has robbed the citizens of Michigan of their voice. DHHS has made a mockery of our government and demonstrated a complete lack of transparency.
     

  2. These rule amendments are improper on their face—meaning the language of the rule amendments itself is problematic. Attorneys William Wagner and Erin Mersino are two Constitutional experts and explained in detail why these rules violate Constitutional rights.
     

  3. The rule amendments are implemented in an illegal and unconstitutional manner. Attorneys Michael Ross, Joel Dorfman, William Wagner, and Erin Mersino, and other constituents explained why these rules are illegal and unconstitutional in the way in which they are carried out.
     

This hearing—these bills—are not about the merits of waivers v. vaccination. While that is a discussion that we are eager and prepared to defend—is not appropriate or relevant for today’s conversation. Today’s discussion and these bills are about correcting the actions of a rouge agency. An agency that, thus far, has unfettered and unchecked authority to create law via administrative rule.

MDHHS tried very hard to confuse the issues presented today. It even went so far as to try to convince you that its ends justified its means. But what it did not do—what it cannot do—is tell you that its actions were moral, ethical, legal, or transparent.

We do not—we should not—have a government that brushes these corruptions aside with the attitude that the ends justify its means. Lower waiver rates or increased vaccination rates do not justify the illegal, unethical, unconstitutional actions of the agency.

 

I was surprised and disappointed that several Representatives unapologetically demonstrated a lack of understanding about the current law regarding school exclusions, outbreaks, and epidemics. I invite all the Representatives to review the Public Health Code and study what protections are provided to the public at large by the statute.

 

Your decision isn’t a difficult one to make. You are presented with the opportunity to correct a wrong. You have the ability create a new standard and higher standard here in Michigan—and one deserving better than a grade of F. One that speaks loudly and declares that we will not tolerate unethical and illegal behavior by an administrative agency. Do it. Take this opportunity. Vote for Bills 4425 and 4426.

 

 

 

 

 

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