Thankfully, Lame Duck is heading into its final week. Traditionally, lame duck is when we’ve seen the worst of the worst legislation pass such as Right to Work and rape insurance. This year, it’s been tamer, but we have to stay vigilant because the 2015 legislature will be redder and even more conservative.
Coercing bad policy
On Thursday, the Senate took yet another swing at a woman’s right to access safe, legal abortions. They passed an “anti-coercion” bill that anti-choice lobbyists at Right to Life say help prevent women from being coerced into an abortion.
There’s just one issue: it’s already illegal to coerce a woman to have an abortion. This is simply another attempt by the Republican Legislature to put hurdles in the relationship between a woman and her doctor.
Plus, this “anti-coercion” bill does nothing to protect women who may be coerced into pregnancy or women who may have had a partner mess with their birth control.
This is another example of the Republican Legislature creating so-called solutions to problems that either don’t exist or are already properly handled. The GOP is supposed to be the party of limited government, and yet, they love getting cozy between and woman and her doctor and Michiganders’ private health care decisions.
RFRA Not Resting
While the Senate has yet to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, we’re not convinced that the bill is dead just yet. There’s still another week to go before Lame Duck is officially tapped out.
It needs to be made clear that religious freedom in Michigan is not under attack and RFRA essentially seeks to enshrine the right to discriminate into law. Most of the outcry — and for good reason — has involved the fight for LGBT equality, but this bill would have much further implications if passed into law and will likely cause a massive headache for Michigan.
The Republican Legislature continues to pass bills that are unnecessary and don’t make Michigan a better place to live. Let’s hope this one dies in the Senate.
Legislature Votes to Shame Poor People
This week, despite reports that show that drug testing is a waste of taxpayer money, the House and Senate voted to shame poor people by forcing them to submit to drug testing. This is sold as a way to hold people accountable, but in reality it does nothing more than look down on people who are down on their luck.
The House and Senate failed to vote to test themselves, staffers, state contractors or corporate CEOs on corporate welfare. Just another example of the Republican-led legislature’s priorities that favor the wealthy and well-connected over average Michiganders.
Pete Lund’s Presidential Vote-Rigging Scheme Does Not Get a Vote
The House took no action on a bill that would rig Michigan’s elections. Despite a push by bill sponsor Pete Lund, the bill did not make it out of committee.
Progressives should be proud of the work that was done by those that wrote letters, called lawmakers and testified against the bill. While we can count on the Republicans in Lansing to continue their attempts to rig elections in their favor, we will continue to defend democracy in Michigan.
We’re on a Road to…Somewhere?
Our roads are bad and everyone knows it. But, despite a bi-partisan bill passing the Senate to fund road fixes, the Republican-led House can’t seem to come up with a plan that fixes our roads without robbing our schools and communities.
As of now, the House and Senate will hold a conference committee next week to try to hash out a plan. With the holidays approaching, it remains to be seen if the political courage exists in the legislature and if Rick Snyder has the leadership ability to get our roads fixed in a responsible way.