The bill follows Whitmer’s controversial $27,521 Florida trip in March when she visited her ailing father but initially refused to give details about the trip.
A memo sent by Whitmer’s chief of staff last week clarified the trip was paid for through a nonprofit originally created for her inauguration.
“What happens if the governor has left, decides not to tell anybody and we have a real emergency arise?” Republican state Sen. Tom Barrett, who sponsored the bill, said, according to the Detroit News. “We just need to know who is fulfilling the role of governor of the state at any given time.”
Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist would be first to fill in for Whitmer if necessary.
Bobby Leddy, the governor’s press secretary, claimed the legislation was politically motivated.
“It would behoove the Legislature to read the Michigan Constitution, which clearly outlines a process to ensure that there is always an acting governor available to continue the functions of the state in case of an emergency,” he said, according to the Detroit Free Press. “If the Legislature wants to waste their time playing games, that’s their own decision, but Gov. Whitmer is going to remain focused on ending this pandemic and putting Michigan back to work.”
When previously asked about the Florida trip, Whitmer told reporters the trip wasn’t paid for with taxpayer dollars and wasn’t a gift but didn’t elaborate. She paid $855 out of pocket for the $27,521 chartered flight.
Whitmer’s office claimed it was necessary to charter a flight because of security and health concerns. She wasn’t vaccinated during the trip and had encouraged Michiganders to avoid travel to Florida at the time.
The governor is also facing an IRS complaint filed by a conservative group in the state over the trip.
Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said giving advance notification of the governor’s travel schedule would be a “serious” security concern.
“This is especially important in today’s environment given the number of death threats she has received, to include the well-publicized Wolverine Watchmen kidnapping plot,” she said, according to The News. “The more people who know or have access to her movements, the higher the risk level for both her and her executive protection detail.”