Big Win In Lansing

By |2012-12-13T09:00:00-05:00December 13th, 2012|Michigan, News|

LANSING – At 4:30 a.m. Dec. 14 it was official – the Michigan legislature did not hold final votes on House Bills 5763 and 5764, which would have allowed adoption agencies to discriminate based on a moral or religious conviction, or on Senate Bill 975, which would have allowed healthcare professionals to similarly discriminate.
The lame duck session ended in the wee hours of the morning after legislators voted on a flurry of other bills, but they did not vote on the three bills that activists said specifically targeted LGBT people and families, thereby killing the bills for now.
Emily Dievendorf, policy director at Equality Michigan, was at the capitol until the final gavel came down. She credited the thousands of people who called and emailed their legislators and the governor to protest passage of these bills.
“I was proud to be there for that moment and today we celebrate with our supporters – along with all LGBT families across Michigan and our friends within partner organizations from Unity Michigan, labor, education, and other human rights movements,” Dievendorf said in a written statement. “However, our allies were not so fortunate in defeating attacks on their communities this session. We join them in planning how to correct those injustices and we will no doubt continue to need their help, and the support of all Equality Michigan members, to keep these extremists in check.”
The all-night session capped a frenetic lame duck session that saw Michigan become the 24th state to pass so-called right-to-work legislation. Other bills that received final approval and that will be sent to Gov. Snyder for his signature will restrict abortion, reinstate the financial manager legislation struck down by voters in the November election and ease gun laws.
Here are descriptions of the bills that the governor will see on his desk next week:
* A phased-out elimination of the personal property tax
* Greater restrictions on abortion, including licensing of abortion facilities.
* The final bills needed to create a Regional Transportation Authority for southeast Michigan.
* An authority intended to improve streetlights in the city of Detroit.
* Legislation to assist Mike Ilitch in his plans for a new arena and entertainment district in downtown Detroit.
* Bills that make it tougher to recall state lawmakers.
* A requirement – already vetoed once by Snyder – that voters declare in writing they are U.S. citizens.
* A replacement emergency manager law, less than two months after voters rejected the former law, Public Act 4 of 2011.
* Privatization of a prison in Baldwin.
* Easing restrictions on where guns can be carried.
* Changes to the state’s medical marijuana laws.
When the legislators convene for the new session in January both chambers will continue to have solid Republican majorities, however the GOP majority in the House will be reduced from the current 20 votes to 8 in the new session.

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