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lame duck

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This Week in Michigan Politics, Morning Edition host Christina Shockley and Michigan Radio’s political analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about the end of the lame duck session. Lessenberry says “this probably has been the most productive and momentous and game changing lame duck session doing back to the 1960s.” Lessenberry says making Michigan a right to work state was probably the biggest moment in Michigan politics this year. And that was a big reason Governor Rick Snyder’s approval rating...

Stateside: Lame duck concludes, 2013 comes into focus

Dec 18, 2012
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Lansing’s lame duck session has ended, allowing politicians to focus on their 2013 agendas. To better understand what both parties will discuss, we heard from Saul Anuzis and Debbie Dingell. Anuzis is the former Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party and Dingell is a Democratic National Committeewoman. Dingell expressed concern over the speed with which right-to-work legislation passed. “People in Michigan were stunned by many of the bills that passed so quickly without discussion,” said Dingell. “The lame duck session every two years is something where a lot of bills move very quickly. I don’t think anybody was surprised…” said Anuzis.

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The polling firm Public Policy Polling found Gov. Snyder's positive poll numbers dropping precipitously. PPP is described as a "Democratic-leaning" survey firm, so it's no surprise they wanted to see how Gov. Snyder is faring after passing the controversial 'right-to-work' legislation in the state. The firm is comparing their results from data gathered on Gov. Snyder prior to the hullabaloo around the legislature's prolific lame-duck session. (For more background on PPP, see this profile from...

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Clergy from across the state are expected to rally in Lansing today, and to call on Gov. Snyder to veto legislation that could allow concealed weapons in schools and churches. On Stateside yesterday , MPRN's Rick Pluta said Snyder is getting an earful from those opposed to the legislation. The Governor says he's looking carefully at the legislation. Elisha Anderson and Paul Egan of the Detroit Free Press report the bill is unclear on how schools and other public facilities could keep people from carrying concealed weapons if they wanted to, and that's what is giving the Gov. pause.

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The state’s tax on industrial and business equipment is a step closer to being phased out. State lawmakers Thursday sent the measure to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk. The personal property tax repeal was one of Governor Snyder and Republican state leaders’ top priorities for the lame duck session. They say it discourages investment in the state and kills jobs. Supporters of the plan say it will reimburse local communities for most or all of the revenue they would lose for services like schools, police, and fire. Ari Adler is a spokesperson for state House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-Marshall). “Many communities rely on the revenue that comes from this tax, and we did not want to leave them in a lurch,” Adler said. Opponents like state Rep. Vicki Barnett (D-Farmington Hills) say the bills do not do enough to make up for those losses. “It’s clear locals are going to lose money. Schools are going to lose money. The question is, just how much? And it could be anywhere from $250 million to – what I believe, when fully implemented – closer to $800 million, if there’s no replacement,” Barnett said. Michigan voters will be asked to approve the reimbursement plan in August of 2014. If it’s rejected, the state will stop phasing out the tax.

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

Dec 14, 2012
user Steve & Christine from USA / Wikipedia

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...

Stateside: An unusually active lame duck session

Dec 13, 2012
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There is an abundance of political action in this year’s lame duck session. Bill Ballenger of “Inside Michigan Politics” and Michigan Radio’s Jack Lessenberry spoke with Cyndy about the recent legislature coming out of the Capitol. According to Lessenberry there were several reasons for right-to-work being passed. “The legislature will be marginally more Democratic next time. Some of the people who were voting are people who aren’t coming back. It was a campaign year and some of the stuff that might have gotten done earlier didn’t get done,” said Lessenberry. “Legislators have been working on a lot of these bills for a year and a half,” said Ballenger. Ballenger noted the role of partisan politics in the lame duck session.

cncphotos / flickr

It has been quite a week in Michigan politics. Morning Edition host Christina Shockley and Michigan Radio's political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss what happens now that right to work bills have been signed into law and what other controversial bills are being looked at in the remainder of the lame duck session.

If you were writing a novel about politics, you couldn’t make this up. Last month a Democratic President was re-elected, easily carrying Michigan by almost half a million votes. The same day, the state’s voters reelected a liberal Democratic Senator by almost a million votes, and Democrats gained seats in the legislature. Exactly one month to the day later, this same state passed laws destroying the union shop, and making Michigan a right to work state. Did I think I would ever see this in my lifetime? Absolutely not. But then, I never counted on a black president, General Motors going bankrupt, or Pontiac going out of business. We live in momentous times. And in the Michigan legislature, last week was a time of lawmaking at breathtaking speed. If there has ever been a lame-duck session anything like this one, I certainly don’t know about it.

screenshot / YouTube

After an onslaught of TV and radio ads this election season, Michigan residents could be forgiven for hoping they had seen the last of political spots for a while. But the ads are back. A group calling itself the Michigan Freedom Fund is now running television and radio ads in support of rumored "right-to-work" legislation. The nonprofit advocacy group is being run by Greg McNeilly, an employee of Dick DeVos’ investment firm Windquest Group, MLive reports . McNeilly was campaign manager for Devos during his gubernatorial campaign and served as executive director of the Michigan Republican Party. The Free Press reports that one of the first TV spots aired last night in the Detroit area. Here is a look at the ad:

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The question hanging over the state Capitol is whether the Legislature will take up a so-called “right-to-work” bill during its lame duck session. Activists on both sides of the issue showed up in force to lobby lawmakers. A growing chorus of conservatives says this is the moment for Michigan to join 23 other states that have enacted laws to end the closed shop and allow workers to opt out of paying union dues. Scott Hagerstrom is with the group Americans for Prosperity, one of the champions...

Teacher at a chalkboard explaining to his students
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Republican state lawmakers say they are committed to passing an overhaul to public education in the “lame duck” session. Opponents of the bills have been ramping up pressure to hold off until next year. The bills include the expansion of a state-run district for struggling schools and a measure seeking to increase school choice. House Education Committee Chair Lisa Lyons said the legislation can’t wait. “We need to allow these schools and parents and students all the time, as much as possible, to transition and to plan for the education that they are going to receive next fall,” Lyons said. A coalition of Michigan public school officials says the legislation would strip local control of schools. Supporters say too many schools are failing to provide quality education. They say the measures are the best way to turn that around.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

Activists on both sides of the issue are lobbying Lansing lawmakers over a so-called “right-to-work” bill that could be introduced in the lame duck session. Tea party activists and union supporters crowded into the halls of the Capitol Tuesday as Republican leaders held talks on whether to take up legislation that would end the closed shop and allow workers to opt out of paying union dues. Governor Rick Snyder says the issue is not on his agenda – but won’t say what he would do if a bill...

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Governor Rick Snyder and legislative leaders are talking about a possible replacement to the emergency manager law that was rejected by voters nearly a month ago. The governor says he’d like to see it done before the Legislature wraps up its “lame duck” session. Governor Snyder says a new law would have to respect voters’ decision that the old emergency manager law was too sweeping. Under one version being discussed, local governments in financial trouble could ask the state for an emergency...

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Legislature is wrapping up the first week of its “lame duck” session with lots of things to do – but everyone is wondering if Republicans intend to put “right-to-work” legislation on their end-of-the-year to-do list. The halls and lobbies of the Capitol were packed with union members urging the Legislature to not take up a right-to-work bill in the “lame duck” session. Additional State Police troopers were called in as a precaution. Governor Rick Snyder said he would rather see lawmakers...

Stateside: Addressing Michigan's lame-duck session

Nov 19, 2012
Michigan's State Capitol in Lansing.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

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.

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Leaders in the state legislature have called lawmakers back to the Capitol today for a final meeting of this year's legislative session. The news comes after lawmakers had called it quits earlier this month. As Laura Weber of the Michigan Public Radio Network reports , lawmakers have to go back to Lansing to correct a few procedural mistakes from the earlier lame-duck session: The state Senate has a few bills sent back from the House for final approval, including a measure that would lower the minimum age for blood donation from 17 to 16. The House also needs to meet Wednesday to approve a resolution to adjourn for the year. But it's unclear if enough lawmakers can be wrangled on short notice to return to the state Capitol to vote. And, as The Associated Press reports : Lawmakers might enroll and send to Gov. Jennifer Granholm legislation allowing sale of the Michigan School for the Deaf site in Flint to a developer who wants to redevelop the property and keep the school open. Bills that would regulate billboards for sexually oriented businesses are among the others that need final approval or procedural votes before they can be sent to Granholm. It doesn't appear that either chamber will take up controversial measures including teacher-tenure reform or insurance for autism treatments.

Capitol Building, Lansing, MI
Terry Johnston/Flickr

Well, it appears that state lawmakers aren't quite done with this year's lame duck legislative session. It's been announced that both the Democrat-led House and Republican-led Senate will convene at the state Capitol tomorrow. The news comes after lawmakers declared their two-year session was done on December 3rd. However, the Associated Press reports , that neither chamber is expected to take up any controversial issues: The House is expected to deal with legislation cracking down on human trafficking and a few other issues. The Senate will deal with bills that can't be sent to Governor Jennifer Granholm because they didn't get an immediate effect vote or because they were changed by the House. Lawmakers aren't expected to take up insurance coverage for autism, teacher tenure rules or other sensitive subjects that were left unaddressed before adjourning earlier this month.

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Terry Johnson/Flickr

Lawmakers worked throughout Thursday night and into early the early morning hours on Friday to complete their 2009-2010 legislative session . Lawmakers approved $10 million dollars for the 'Pure Michigan' advertising campaign. Governor Granholm had wanted $25 million for the campaign. Democratic state Representative Dan Scripps said the deal could have been better: You know, we’ve put two options on the Senate’s desk, and the governor’s put a third one, and essentially they punted and raided from another pot and I just don’t think that’s the way to go. We can do better than this. Efforts to enact teacher-tenure reforms that would make it easier to fire teachers failed as did a law that would require insurance companies to cover autism treatments for children.

Detroit Institute of Arts
Maia C/Flickr

A bill approved today in the state House would allow the Detroit Institute of Arts to ask taxpayers for more money. The Associated Press reports the bill would: ...allow counties to form authorities that could ask voters for property taxes to fund arts institutes... The property taxes would have to be approved by voters in the region to take effect. Art institute authorities could ask for up to 0.2 mills. The bill now heads to Governor Granholm for her signature. The state Senate already approved the measure.

Capitol Building, Lansing
Terry Johnston/FLICKR

Michigan lawmakers continue their 'lame duck' session in Lansing today and they're still trying to figure out the last pieces of legislation to pass before the 2009-2010 session comes to a close. The Associated Press reports: It's a safe bet lawmakers will pass a bill to distribute more than $300 million in federal money to schools. But... bills dealing with teacher tenure, fireworks sales, insurance coverage for autism treatments and dozens of other items could be voted on before the Legislature adjourns at the end of the week. Bill Ballenger , the editor and publisher of the " Inside Michigan Politics " newsletter told Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta earlier this week that, " The chances of getting all of it done are slim."

Capitol Building in Lansing
Terry Johnson/Flickr

State lawmakers return to the Capitol in Lansing this week as the 2009-2010 legislative session comes to a close. Both the state House and Senate are scheduled to be in session. The Associated Press reports : Lawmakers might finalize a plan to distribute more than $300 million in federal money to Michigan schools. It's not clear if lawmakers will agree on a way to raise more money for the state's Pure Michigan tourism advertising program.

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