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Democrats Turned Michigan Into Woke Socialist Hellhole On First Day Of Legislature, It Was Awesome
Today? MORE OF THE SAME, probably.
Guess it really does matter which party gains a new majority in a legislature. Republicans in the US House of Representative have been using their slim majority to set up a committee to obstruct justice and another to investigate Hunter Biden; to pass symbolic anti-abortion bills that won't do anything; to try to defund the IRS and make prescription drugs more expensive for seniors; and to impeach DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas because people keep seeking asylum.
By contrast, in Michigan, where Democrats won both houses of the state Legislature, the first day of work, on Wednesday, saw the new Democratic majority announce bills to:
Repeal the state's 2012 "Right to work" law
Restore Michigan's "prevailing wage" law for state contractors
Expand state civil rights protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity
Repeal a retirement tax
Expand the state Earned Income Tax Credit to cover more people
Repeal the 1931 abortion ban that was invalidated by a ballot initiative in November
The full bills will be introduced today, With November's wins in the midterms, Democrats now hold a trifecta in state government, with both the House and Senate as well as Gov. Gretchen Whitmer running things.
Pretty good going for the first full day's session, at least. And there's not even a single committee aimed at taking revenge on political opponents! (To be clear, we might be OK with a bill requiring former GOP Gov. Rick Snyder and his administration to personally dig trenches for new water lines in Flint, but that's apparently not in the cards.)
Some of the bills will undo damage done by Republicans, like the two labor laws. Republicans in the Michigan lege passed the union-busting "right to work" law in a lame duck session in 2012, and yet somehow not everyone in Michigan got wealthy. The "prevailing wage" bill would restore a requirement that companies contracting with the state pay union wages and benefits on any state construction projects. The old law was repealed by Republicans in 2018, but Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did an executive order requiring prevailing wages on jobs worth over $50,000. The executive order is being challenged in court; if the bill passes, that would make the lawsuit moot.
Not surprisingly both proposals have been condemned by the Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan, which represents companies, because if bosses have to pay decent wages and benefits, that would supposedly be "devastating to economic growth and the construction industry in Michigan."
To help out taxpayers, there's a bill from state Rep. Angela Witwer to repeal a retirement tax — also added under former Gov. Snyder, in 2011 — that Witwer has "estimated costs 500,000 Michigan homes an average of $1,000 a year." Witwer also wants to expand Michigan's Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income workers, which currently is an extra six percent of the federal EITC, to 20 percent of the federal credit.
A pair of bills from Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Moss and Rep. Jason Hoskins would finally expand protections under Michigan's state civil rights law to protect discrimination against LGBTQ folks. As the Detroit News points out, the Michigan Supreme Court has already held that the state law's protections against discrimination on the basis of sex also apply to sexual orientation and gender identity, but the bills introduced yesterday would codify those protections in state law, heading off the possibility that a future court might do mischief to the existing rulings.
And finally, the bill to repeal Michigan's bad old 1931 abortion ban is another bit of housekeeping, since voters already passed the Reproductive Freedom for All initiative in November. That measure guarantees the right to an abortion and other reproductive care, but formally repealing the old 1931 abortion ban would drive a stake through its heart for good.
Michigan's Democratic House Speaker Joe Tate said the first batch of bills will "advance the priorities of the people."
“Michigan families are struggling,” Tate said Wednesday from the House rostrum. “Our job is to recognize their struggles, acknowledge their hardships and support meaningful change that increases their financial security and stability.”
As of blog postin' time, we haven't yet seen any Republicans complaining that the proposed bills will only address matters of policy, without any major ownage of people Repubilcans hate. But don't worry, we're sure somebody with an R following their name will vow that these wanton acts of help for workers and taxpayers will not stand, man.
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