Last week was especially bad for anyone in Michigan who cares about children, equality, justice, fairness and economic progress. Here is a litany of backwater, intolerant, anti-economic development bills passed in Michigan’s legislature in just one week:
Snyder failed 13,000 children in foster care by limiting their access to loving and stable forever homes when he signed the “religious objection” adoption bills (HB 4188–4190). These bills were clearly aimed at same-sex couples, but they will also allow faith-based agencies that receive state funding to turn away people of other faiths, unmarried couples, mixed race couples – anyone who doesn’t meet their standards.
The legislature passed and Snyder signed a bill that will allow the state to kick entire needy families off welfare cash assistance if one child in the family is chronically truant (HB 4041).
Part of House Speaker Kevin Cotter’s road funding package approved by the House will raise taxes on the lowest income workers by eliminating the Earned Income Tax Credit (HB 4609).
The House voted to significantly cut economic development programs and divert that money to roads. Deep cuts are a shortsighted move that will hurt Michigan’s ability to compete with other states for new business (HB 4440).
The Senate approved for consideration a measure to eliminate the entire Michigan Film Office (HB 4122). Eliminating the entire office, while 49 other states have one, would result in millions of dollars in lost revenue from the film industry.
The Senate passed the “Death Star” bill (HB 4052) that would stop local communities from being able to require employers to provide things like prevailing wage and sick days.
The Senate passed a bill to micromanage how schools teach children about the U.S. and Michigan constitutions (SB-0211). The bill, which passed on party lines, requires schools to teach the portions of the documents that mention religion.