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GOP lawmakers ask Michigan court to rule on lame-duck laws

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The Republican-led Michigan Senate is asking the state Supreme Court to rule on the legality of an unprecedented maneuver by which citizen-initiated minimum wage and paid sick leave laws were watered down.

The Senate on Wednesday sought an advisory opinion from the justices, an attempt to bypass what could be lengthy litigation. The move comes after a Democratic senator asked Democratic Attorney General Dana Nessel to advise whether the strategy was constitutional.

To prevent the measures from going to the electorate in November, after which they would have been much harder to change if voters had passed them, Republicans legislators preemptively approved them so they could be pared back with simple majority votes and the signature of then-Gov. Rick Snyder.

The minimum wage and leave laws take effect next month.