Mark your calendars that December 6, 2012 was the day that the majority party in Lansing slammed the door on any vestige of cooperation between the two political parties that had been a hallmark of the Milliken years when civility and a degree of bi-partisanship was more the rule than the exception.
With Governor Snyder leading the charge the Senate and House Republicans cast propriety to the wind and passed bills (in some cases without referral to committees or public hearings) that are as divisive and poorly thought out as any possibly in history.
The Republican leadership went so far as to close the Capitol Building to the public so they wouldn’t have to hear the objections of people from across the state. A Court Order reopened the building, after Democratic leaders filed an emergency law suit.
Whether you support the legislation or oppose it, the entire episode is a blot on the record of state politics and doing “the people’s business” in a fair and proper manner.
There was no question the anti-union, anti-women’s rights bills, so much a part of
the reactionary right’s agenda would likely have the votes to pass but the unwillingness of the legislative leaders to allow the public input, historically a hallmark of our system of government, in an attempt to ram the legislation through in a lame duck session is a disservice to the state and to the communities they represent.
Apparently the legislation in both houses differed and thus must go through a conference committee process to make the bills the same and then be voted on again, supposedly all on Tuesday. Therefore, there is still time to make opinions known and force the leadership in Lansing to retake control of the majority party from the extreme reactionary right wing that has seized its control and then take the proper action. The question is, will they have the courage to do so.