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Politics & Government
Wed June 18, 2014
The week in Michigan politics
This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry and Christina Shockley discuss the latest in the same-sex marriage debate, roads funding, whether Democrats can overturn the abortion insurance law, and a new controversy with the Education Achievement Authority.
Michigan same-sex marriage debate back on in August
Challenges to same-sex marriage in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee will be heard in August.
The U.S. Court of appeals is going to hear cases from four states where same-sex marriage bans have been overturned.
Lessenberry said a group of 20 Republicans are now voicing their support for same-sex marriage.
“They are really doing it more to take a stand rather than to affect the court,” Lessenberry said.
The future of the roads
Lawmakers left Lansing for their summer break without voting on funding for roads.
Lessenberry thinks lawmakers will come back for a special session this summer, but only if leadership thinks something can be accomplished.
He said lawmakers are under a lot of pressure from voters in an election year. Republicans are fearing challenges from Tea Party candidates who are less likely to spend money, and lawmakers in swing districts are under pressure from voters to get the roads fixed.
Democrats want to overturn abortion rider
Lansing Democrats want to bring the issue of the abortion rider in insurance back up for discussion.
Lessenberry said there is little or no chance the Legislature would overturn the abortion rider.
“What Democrats are trying to do ... is get women energized to show up at the polls this year and vote against Republicans,” Lessenberry said.
Controversies with Education Achievement Authority chancellor
John Covington, the Chancellor of the controversial Education Achievement Authority, resigned this week. He says he needs to care for his ailing mother, but there's a little more to this situation.
Lessenberry said that whether the EAA admits it or not, Covington was really fired.
“(Covington) was very controversial and he spent vast amounts of money on travel and on a chauffeured limousine for himself, so no one is sorry to see him go,” Lessenberry said.
Lessenberry added that’s despite the fact that Covington’s salary was $325,000 a year.