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lame duck

Ken Sikkema: "If you're going to float these big issues [in the lame duck session], you get them done. You've figured out a way ahead of time. You've anticipated the protests ... and you just do it."
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The lame duck session for the Michigan Legislature is a time when politicians in Lansing often push through unpopular or controversial bills. Remember the right-to-work law in 2012 ? This year has been no different as there have been a number of proposals that have been floated through the lame duck session. However, in an expected turn, four big ones have been pulled back, which surprised many observers, including Susan Demas and Ken Sikkema who joined Stateside for their weekly political roundup.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

It’s the Michigan Legislature’s lame duck session, and a lot is going on. Susan Demas and Ken Sikkema joined us today to take a look at what our legislators have on their plate.

A Senate committee approved a bill that would end pensions for incoming new teachers in Michigan. They would be put into market-based 401 (k)-style plans.
Matthileo / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

The lame-duck session in Lansing has been quacking along at a fast pace.

Yesterday, a Senate committee approved a bill that would end pensions for incoming new teachers in Michigan. The pensions would be put into market-based 401 (k)-style plans. Senator Goeff Hansen, R-Hart , who represents the 34th District, which includes Muskegon, joined Stateside to talk about it. Hansen was one of the two Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee, along with Mike Nofs, who voted against the effort.

State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today is the official start of the lame-duck period for Michigan’s 98 th Legislature. Some of us remember the frenetic pace of the lame-duck in 2012, when state lawmakers passed something like 300 bills. That included "right to work" and a new emergency manager law to replace the one voters had just repealed. Zach Gorchow , editor of Gongwer News Service , joined Stateside to discuss what’s on the to-do list this year during lame duck. He said because the House and Senate maintained their...

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s senior U.S. Senator says there are some things that Congress has to address when it returns to work this week. Sen. Debbie Stabenow says her top priority during Congress’ lame duck session will be lining up federal money for Flint. “We have a promise that was made to me by the Speaker of the House and the Republican Majority Leader that before the end of this year we would pass the money that’s critical to fixing the pipes in Flint,” says Stabenow. The House and Senate passed...

Snyder signs bill with $5.5 million for autism

Dec 29, 2014
user blwphotography / Flickr

LANSING – Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to take $5.5 million from a state autism fund and redirect it to autism programs at universities and for autism-related family assistance services. The fund was created in 2012 to reimburse health insurance companies for the cost of benefits covering the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders. But insurers haven't filed nearly as many claims as expected. Western Michigan University will receive $3 million, while Central Michigan and Oakland universities will continue getting $500,000 apiece.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is reviewing hundreds of bills approved by the Legislature in the waning days of the lame-duck session. Lawmakers sent the governor 224 bills since the November election.

user Tqycolumbia / Wikimedia Commons

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss a long-awaited plan to fix Michigan’s roads, job cuts to one of the state’s largest agencies, and some holiday cheer from Rep. John Dingell. Roads deal After weeks of hemming and hawing over how to fix the state’s roads, Michigan lawmakers have OK'd plans for a sales tax hike.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A proposed tax hike aimed at improving Michigan's transportation infrastructure and schools is heading to voters.

The Michigan Legislature has put a sales tax increase on the May statewide ballot as part of a road funding plan.

user Kcdtsg / wikimedia commons

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss the final days of lame duck, including the hold up on a plan to fix the roads, a pair of Senate-approved abortion coercion bills, and a bill that would impact online purchases made in Michigan.

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Republican-led Michigan Senate has voted to make it a crime to coerce a woman to have an abortion against her will. The legislation would prohibit stalking or assaulting a pregnant woman or anyone else with the intent to force an abortion against her wishes. After learning that a woman does not want an abortion, a person also could not threaten to cut off legally required financial support or withdraw from a contract with her. The punishment for doing so would be a misdemeanor charge and...

“Internet sales tax” approved by state Senate

Dec 11, 2014
user cedarbenddrive/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The state Senate has approved legislation that would require internet retailers such as Amazon.com to collect a six-percent tax on all sales to people in Michigan. Supporters say it is unfair to businesses that choose to open brick-and-mortar locations in Michigan that people can avoid paying the tax by shopping online.

State Senator Randy Richardville
Photo courtesy of www.senate.michigan.gov

The state Legislature is taking steps to hammer out a road funding compromise in the final days of its 2014 session. The House and Senate passed plans that are drastically different. The Senate approved legislation that would essentially double the state’s gas tax to pay for road improvements. The House plan would divert revenues from schools and local governments and would not raise any taxes.

A Senate committee approved a bill that would end pensions for incoming new teachers in Michigan. They would be put into market-based 401 (k)-style plans.
Matthileo / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Each Thursday, we talk Michigan politics with Susan Demas , publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema , former Senate Majority Leader and senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants. This week we talked about the bills heading to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk this lame-duck session and whether he'll sign them.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

School officials are worried about the Legislature’s latest plan to help financially troubled school districts. The state House Financial Liability Reform committee is expected to take up seven bills on Thursday that would create an early warning system to identify financially troubled schools. The bills would require enhanced deficit elimination plans and increase the cap on emergency loans to school districts.

via gophouse.org

A new House bill would prevent local governments from setting their own minimum wage laws, putting other additional conditions on employers, or attaching community benefits agreements to development projects. State Representative Earl Poleski, a Jackson Republican, is the bill’s sponsor. He says it aims to combat the “fragmentation” that results from letting municipalities set their own standards. “Those different rules make it complex—and when I say complex, read ‘expensive’—to comply, and frankly impairs businesses abilities to expand and hire people,” Poleski says.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing.
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Yesterday the choice of whether to add LGBT rights to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act was stalled in the House Commerce Committee, and it looks like it will likely stay there.

Wikimedia Commons

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss a plan to help Michigan roads by cutting truck weight limits, whether any road fix plans will survive the lame duck session, and a possible end to federal oversight of the state’s foster care system.

net_efekt / Flickr

Michigan lawmakers are back this week, after a two-week break. And Governor Snyder is pushing hard for a deal to boost road funding as the Legislature's "lame duck" session winds down. Gov . Snyder took his case on the road today, with stops in southeast Michigan to highlight the need for better roads. One bill would effectively double the state’s gasoline tax to raise up to $1.5 billion a year for roads. The bill has its detractors, especially among voters in southeast Michigan who feel that...

Kate Wells / Michigan Radio

This week, Jack Lessenberry and Emily Fox discuss what to expect from the Legislature’s lame duck session, repercussions from Ferguson, and a fund to help Detroit pensioners.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan lawmakers are acting quickly on legislation to legalize riding-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft . The app-based taxi-like service links people who need a ride with willing motorists. The services appear to be in violation of state law. Some cities, like Ann Arbor, have tried to prevent them from operating. Others, like Lansing, have been more welcoming. State Rep. Tim Kelly, R-Saginaw, says his bill would basically sidestep existing regulations for taxi services. “One could say...

It's Just Politics Logo
It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

State lawmakers will be back in Lansing tomorrow, beginning their lame-duck legislative session. Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta from It's Just Politics join us on Stateside to discuss their list of lame-duck issues. Here are five issues they believe might come up: 1. Roads: Governor Snyder wants more money to fix the roads, but the Legislature has not been able to agree. 2. Adding protections for gay or lesbian individuals to the state's Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act: Debates over inclusion of transgendered individuals or religious faith opt-outs may complicate the decision making process. 3. Education: Education issues like teacher evaluations, third grade reading standards, and changes to how Detroit school board members are designated are all on the docket for the lame-duck legislative session. 4. No-fault auto insurance: Republicans have been trying to end unlimited medical coverage for accident victims, according to Rick Pluta. 5. Allocation of electoral college votes: Michigan is a winner-take-all system, meaning that whichever candidate for president gets the most votes, they win all of the state's 16 electoral college votes. There is a push by some Republicans to have the votes be allocated by congressional districts instead. *You can listen to the full segment above.

user Tyrone Warner / Flickr

This Week in Review, Jack Lessenberry and Rina Miller discuss Michigan’s anti-gay marriage law being upheld, the Detroit bankruptcy trial ruling, and what to expect during this term’s lame-duck session.

Michigan election results and the lame duck session

Nov 5, 2014
Flag at half-staff near the Capitol in Lansing.
Matt Katzenberger / Flickr

Michigan voters re-elected Republican Governor Rick Snyder for another term in office. Democrat Gary Peters also won his bid for U.S. Senate beating out Republican Terri Lynn Land. Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, joined me to talk about Michigan's election results. Here's our conversation:

Michigan Legislature
Michigan Municipal League

Six weeks from today, we'll be going through November's election results. Michigan will have a new U.S. Senator and voters will have either given Gov. Rick Snyder another term or elected Democrat Mark Schauer to take over the job. Six weeks from today will also mean the beginning of the state's lame duck legislative session. Lame duck – the period of time time after the November election but before a new year, begins with many new lawmakers. The last lame duck session of the Michigan Legislature brought the passage of Right to Work. What are we going to see this year? Rick Pluta is bureau chief of the Michigan Public Radio Network and co-host of Michigan Radio's "It's Just Politics." He says there are suspicions that something will come out of the blue.

The week in review

Jan 12, 2013
Ifmuth / Flickr

This week and review Michigan Radio’s Weekend Edition host Rina Miller and political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss proposed bills to end lame duck sessions and make it easier to file freedom of information act requests. They also chat about the controversial right to work Pure Michigan ad that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Ad claims "right to work" is Pure Michigan "Michigan’s Economic Development Corporation will continue to use the Pure Michigan brand to promote business growth, including the fact that Michigan is now a so-called right to work state. The MEDC faced criticism for buying a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal this week touting the state's new right-to-work law as "Pure Michigan." It cost $144,000," Lindsey Smith reports . Flint public safety administrator resigns "Barnett Jones was Ann Arbor’s police chief before being picked to oversee Flint’s police and fire departments last April. But Jones has also been working as the head of security for the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department since May. When news media outlets raised questions this week about Jones’ ability to do both jobs, Jones submitted his resignation in Flint," Steve Carmody reports. Democrats want to ban "lame duck" sessions "Some Democratic state lawmakers want to end so-called “lame duck” sessions. If lawmakers pass the measure and voters approve it, the Legislature would be barred from meeting between November elections and the end of December on even-numbered years," Jake Neher reports.

Ifmuth / Flickr

One day into their new session, state lawmakers already have an influx of bills to consider. One resolution in the state Senate seeks to effectively end so-called “lame duck” sessions. On even-numbered years, Lawmakers would be barred from holding regular sessions between November elections and the end of the year. Democratic state Senator Glenn Anderson said lawmakers would only be able to act if there’s an emergency. “Lame duck has become an opportunity for folks that are pushing really bad...

Jake Neher / MPRN

More than 200 people showed up at the state Capitol Wednesday to protest on the first day of the new legislative session. The union-backed group criticized state lawmakers for making Michigan a “right-to-work” state, and quickly passing a number of other contentious bills during their “lame duck” session. Kim Dennison is a unionized nurse in Lansing. “It’s important that legislators know that we did recognize what they did in December as a wrong move, and that we haven’t gone away, and that we expect better from them in the coming year,” Dennison said. Calling their protest a “walk of shame,” demonstrators lined walkways leading to entrances to the Capitol. They booed Republicans and cheered Democrats as they entered the building. The protests were organized by the same group behind the “right to work” protests last month that drew thousands of people.

Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley
Brian Calley / Facebook.com

It will soon be illegal in Michigan to discover a dead body and not report it. It’s one of more than 50 bills signed this week by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley. Failing to report a corpse will be a misdemeanor, which can come with up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. It will be a felony to fail to report the body if the intention is to hide the death or its cause. Republican state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker sponsored the bill. “Unfortunately, there’s two or three cases every year where a...

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