The end of a lame duck legislative session is always a harried time for state lawmakers as they scramble to pass bills before their terms expire. It's a lot like Cinderella, except instead of dancing with a prince, legislators pass abortion bans. And at term's end, instead of carriages turning back into pumpkins, politicians turn into lobbyists.
So it was in Michigan, where GOP lawmakers, concerned about their diminished majorities in the coming legislative session, stayed up until 4:30 in the morning to pass a raft of legislation for Gov. Rick Snyder's signature.
On top of a right-to-work law Snyder signed on Tuesday, legislators adopted one of the country's most restrictive abortion regulations, renewed an emergency managers law that voters had rejected in a referendum just months before, passed property tax cuts and moved one step closer to re-branding "gun-free" zones as places where the government gives out free guns:
Tags: Abortion, Guns, Michigan, Rick Snyder, State Legislature
This afternoon the Michigan House of Representatives passed two separate "right-to-work" measures covering workers in the private and public sectors, setting the stage for final passage sometime next week.
A fun game for Michigan residents who may be confused by the phrase "right-to-work":
1. If you're unemployed or working part-time, approach Governor Rick Snyder and ask for a job. Claim you're just exercising the right to work. Better yet, walk in to any office you fancy. Do your research. Pick one that has good coffee, not one with a stupid Flavia machine.
2. If anyone calls security, tell them the legislature passed a right-to-work law and you're only following the rules.
3. If that strategy somehow fails, it may be because right-to-work bills are the Grape-Nuts of public policy: they contain neither rights nor work.
Tags: Michigan, Rick Snyder, State Legislature, Unions
Faced with high unemployment, an exodus of businesses, plummeting government revenues and the general problem of being Michigan, last year the MI state legislature gave Governor Rick Snyder the authority to appoint emergency managers to takeover the operation of cities and school districts.
The expanded emergency manager law allowed these prefects to ignore collective bargaining rules, nullify union contracts and bypass local elected officials. In a sense, it was the ultimate expression of small government: you can't get much smaller than one guy calling all the shots, for all levels of government, without oversight.
Not all Michigan citizens were on board, however, and 203,000 residents petitioned for a referendum on the November ballot to repeal this brave experiment in limited dictatorship. Unfortunately for these rabble rousing democrats, the Board of State Canvassers refused to validate the petitions due to a dispute over font size…
The canvassers split 2-2 along party lines (Democrats supporting and Republicans opposed) after hearing exhaustive testimony on a single point of contention about the adequacy of the petitions — whether the typeface used on a heading met a statutory size requirement.
The Republican-nominated members of board concluded that it did not, touching off a raucous protest from supporters of the ballot proposal who packed the room and assailed the emergency manager law as an affront to the basic principles of democracy.
"I think there is a legitimate question as to size," said Republican Norm Shinkle, who, along with GOP member Jeff Timmer, voted against it.
State regulations require a 14-point boldface font, rather than whatever communist font size was used by the petitioners, wherein all the tiny letters have to share a small space with minimal kerning.
Except it appears likely that the petitions, whose validity will now be up to an appeals court, may have met or exceeded state requirements for heading size. It probably means whatever font they use to print government documents, some members of the Board of State Canvassers do all their thinking in Comic Sans.
Tags: Michigan, Republicans, Rick Snyder, State Legislature
* What do we go with here? A "something worthwhile coming out of Rick Perry's head" joke or "looks like Rick Perry's been seeing John Boehner's sylist" quip?
* Rick Perry tells Newsmax he regrets conveying feelings of concern for Mexican people.
* Gov. Rick Snyder probably won't run for re-election, assuming he can achieve his goal of turning Michigan into a smoldering wasteland nightmare land in a single term.
* Herman Cain releases new Herman Cain fan fiction.
* Sarah Palin says something or other about whatever blah blah blah.
Tags: Books, Herman Cain, Immigration, Michigan, Pork Barrel, Primaries, Republicans, Rick Perry, Rick Snyder, Sarah Palin
Now that this whole birther thing is behind us — or is it, Barack, you double-faker? — we can return our attention to the blood, sweat, and tears poured into other worthy causes.
Like keeping pregnant, poverty-stricken teenagers from going to school…
The push toward the corporatization of the state of Michigan picked up steam as approximately a dozen teachers, teen mothers and their children were arrested in Detroit after staging a peaceful sit-in protest at the Catherine Ferguson Academy.
The sit-in was organized to protest Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb's announcement that he was closing the highly successful and unique school for pregnant and parenting teens. The school provides pre-natal and parenting classes and gives high school student mothers the opportunity to finish their high school degrees by providing on-site child care and other support services … The school boasts a 90% graduation rate and 100% college and higher education acceptance upon graduation.
Nicole Conaway, a science teacher at CFA, remarked that "half the students would drop out" if the school closed. But look. It's not Michigan's fault that those kids have kids. And sure, I get that some people feel that "life" and the "pursuit of happiness" are rights, but whose rights? If you take a look at the eloquent words of Thomas Jefferson, these "unalienable rights" belong to "men" who are "created equal," whose "Creator" has "endowed" such things to them.
So, unless single teenage moms = dudes with deific endowments — and let’s face it, they don't — maybe they should forget the whole life, liberty, etc. thing, and set their sights on welfare and babymaking.
Actually, kidding! Michigan will be cutting welfare, too.
Tags: Education, Men and Women, Michigan, Rick Snyder, Welfare