A couple of things happened this week in the Governor’s office that I think were good moves and I commend Governor Snyder for them.
First, earlier in the week, he signed legislation that moves all school board elections across the state to November of even-numbered years. This is a smart move that will save money and will encourage far higher turnout than these elections normally achieve. Many school board elections are held in the summer, if you can believe it, which is the reason they often see turnouts in the range of 10-15%. It’s absurd to elect people to such an important position with that level of voter involvement.
The second and more important move was Governor Snyder’s veto of House Bill 4326 yesterday. This bill would have prevented state agencies from passing regulations that are more restrictive than federal regulations.
Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed his first bill Thursday after 11 months in office.
Snyder vetoed legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature to prohibit state agencies from enacting regulations with standards that exceed federal regulations.
The veto was a rare display of public discord between Snyder and GOP lawmakers. The only other significant example was in October, when a Senate panel defeated a bill to allow a new public bridge across the Detroit River to Canada, one of Snyder’s top priorities.
In his veto message, Snyder said he strongly supports the bill’s goal of reducing burdensome regulations but is concerned the legislation “would inhibit the state’s ability to work with businesses and citizens to ensure that our regulatory structure fits Michigan’s unique profile.”
AFL-CIO president Karla Swift released this statement:
The veto of HB4326 is a clear victory for Michigan working families. The bill was one of the many passed in last session’s power grab in Lansing, and would have limited important workplace safety and environmental protections that protect Michigan workers and our environment. By reducing protections to minimum federal levels, it would have taken away the ability of the State of Michigan to enact appropriate regulations, and it wouldn’t create any jobs. This law was so extreme, even Gov. Snyder couldn’t support it and his veto is a step in the right direction.
HB4326 is only one of the extreme partisan bills pushed by an out of control legislature in Lansing. Working Michiganders celebrate this important victory and hope this veto will mark a return to balance in Lansing. Legislation like HB4326 and others that are giveaways to CEOs and corporate special interests won’t solve our state’s jobs crisis. This veto gives Lansing politicians an opportunity to focus on what’s really important to their constituents, not special interest groups that would weaken workplace protections and hurt working families.
I think that any hope of “this veto will mark a return to balance in Lansing” is highly wishful thinking but it is a good move by the Governor and I commend him for it.