Apparently things are just fine in Michigan because Republicans here have resorted to (a) making something illegal more illegal and (b) to restricting local municipalities from passing local regulations for their community.
So much for “local control”.
The first bill makes the sale of fetal tissue resulting from abortions more illegal. I say it makes it “more illegal” because it’s already illegal:
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed a bill making it illegal to financially benefit by selling or distributing a fetus or any fetal tissue. It’s already against Michigan law to profit from the sale of fetal tissue.
The new law specifies physicians and medical office employees, who likely would have been covered by the original law. People convicted under the new law face up to five years in prison.
In other words, this is little more than a sloppy wet kiss for anti-Choice, forced birthers to keep them voting Republican. In a statement released by Planned Parenthood of Michigan, spokeswoman Ruth Lednicer said, “It is unfortunate that Right to Life continues to push duplicative legislation for their own political gain. Instead of passing legislation that does nothing more than produce headlines, our legislature should instead be focused on the real work the State could be doing to reduce unintended pregnancies.”
Hah! That’s a good one, Ruth!
The other new law flies directly in the face of the Republican dogma that elevates “local control” to mythological status. It bans municipalities from passing laws that regulate single-use plastic grocery bags:
Lt. Gov. Brian Calley has signed legislation to prohibit Michigan communities from regulating plastic shopping bags.
The law approved Wednesday takes effect in 90 days. It bans municipalities from regulating, prohibiting or adding fees to the use or sale of “auxiliary containers” – reusable or single-use bags, cups, bottles or other packaging from stores and restaurants.
More than 150 municipalities across the country have banned the environmentally unfriendly plastic bags or charged fees. Washtenaw County has OK’d a 10-cent fee on disposable grocery bags and was expected to begin enforcing it in April, but the Republican-sponsored law pre-empts local ordinances.
Once again – and this is hardly the first time they have attempted to do this – Michigan Republicans have shown that “local control” is only important when those “local controls” fall in line with their conservative/corporatist worldview.
In other words, they’re a bunch of damned hypocrites.