Stateside: Addressing Michigan's lame-duck session

Nov 19, 2012

Michigan lawmakers are currently in a "lame-duck" session.

With some politicians nearing the ends of their terms, a mixed sense of delay and progress pervades Lansing.

David Eggert, political contributor for MLive and Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry talked about the typical work ethic of a lame-duck period.

“Some of these folks won’t be coming back, so I think they feel somewhat liberated and also under pressure to get things done,” said Lessenberry.

According to Eggert, one of the major topics of conversation will surely be the changes made to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

“There is a proposal that would turn it into a customer-owned nonprofit. There have been hearings going on for a number of months,” said Eggert.

Although recently voted down, some kind of an emergency manager law will continue to be an area of concern for Michigan lawmakers.

“I’m looking at whether they will attempt to come up with a replacement for the emergency manager law. There is a strong feeling that some kind of replacement is needed,” said Lessenberry.

The recent elections caused Democrats and Republicans to reassess ways of dealing with the Affordable Care Act, according to Eggert.

“One thing it will shape is the Affordable Care Act. Now they are interested in implementing a state-based exchange,” said Eggert.

“The election was a good thing for the governor because it helps him make the case that you have to do things now. They are talking about doing 12 things, but not all will get done,” said Lessenberry

Though the potential for rushed decision making exists, both Lessenberry and Eggert saw nothing entirely troublesome about the lame-duck session.

“There are some concerns in lame-duck that everything is rushed. On the other hand, deadlines seem to be the only thing that gets lawmakers into action. That is one good thing about lame-duck,” said Eggert.

“It doesn’t bother me. This is how the system works,” said Lessenberry.

-Cameron Stewart

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