Legislature stays up late, passes flood of lame-duck bills

Dec 14, 2012

More than a few Michigan legislators are probably feeling a little fuzzy today, asking themselves the all-important question, “What happened last night?”

That’s because lawmakers were up until 4:30 a.m. this morning as part of an all-night legislative binge that saw the passage of a bundle of bills.

And as MLive reports, not everyone is happy about the way it happened:

"It's not a good way to conduct legislative business," state Rep. Brandon Dillon, D-Grand Rapids, told WOOD-TV. "It was a pretty aggressive effort by Republicans in Michigan to put through legislation with very little debate ... ultimately people are going to question the value of the legislation."

Even though many bills were passed in what seemed like last-minute action, the issues had been debated for months, said Ari Adler, spokesman for Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger.

To take effect, the bills still must be approved by Gov. Rick Snyder, who's expected to sign most if not all of them.

Highlights from last night include:

  • Republican lawmakers are attempting to revive the controversial citizenship check box vetoed by Governor Snyder earlier this year. The bill would require that voters sign a statement affirming their citizenship as well as address and date of birth.
  • A bill placing strict regulations on abortion providers passed the House and Senate. It would require screening women to ensure that they were not being coerced into having an abortion and new licensing for facilities providing abortions. The governor is expected to sign the bill.
  • A replacement for Public Act 4--the controversial emergency manager law voted down in the November election—is headed to the governor’s desk after the Senate voted to pass the bill last night.
  • And finally, a wolf hunt in Michigan would be possible if Snyder signs legislation designating the formerly endangered species a game animal. The state's Natural Resources Commission would have final say in determining whether a hunt were necessary.

For a more complete rundown of the bills passed last night visit MLive.com.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom