Michigan Legislature races clock before GOP governor leaves

Dec 20, 2018

Michigan Capitol Building
Credit Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

Michigan's Legislature is in session for a likely marathon final day of voting, as majority Republicans race to pass bills before a Democrat becomes governor in January.

Among the major items under consideration Thursday is legislation that would toughen rules for citizen-initiated ballot drives. It follows voters' passage of Democratic-backed proposals last month and Republicans' unprecedented move to weaken minimum wage and paid sick time laws that began as ballot initiatives.

The lame-duck moves in Michigan could curb the left's power at the ballot box, while sweeping laws in Republican-controlled Wisconsin will weaken incoming Democratic officeholders. Michigan Republicans have dropped an attempt to strip power from the incoming Democratic secretary of state.

One bill already passed, though, would make it harder for Democratic Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer to set tougher environmental and other regulations.