BREAKING: Michigan is breaking
It’s been a tough week in Michigan.
- Gov. Snyder signed the “RFRA for Adoption” bills into law. Michigan ACLU is planning a lawsuit since many of our state’s adoption agencies are “faith-based” and, since they received state funding, they are considered an “agent” of the state and should not be in the business of discrimination or bigotry.
- House Republicans passed a $1.1 billion plan to fix our roads that includes the complete elimination of the Earned Income Tax Credit that helps working poor families.
- The Senate passed legislation that prevents local governments from passing ordinances that affect wages and benefits – the so-called “Death Star” bill – which will strip away local control that Republicans claim they value so highly. This legislation goes back to the House for an approval before heading to Gov. Snyder’s desk.
- The Senate Government Operations Committee took a bill already passed by the House to eliminate the film industry tax credit that has jump started a film production industry in Michigan and beefed it up by eliminating the Michigan Film Office entirely.
- Gov. Snyder signed a bill into law that will allow a private, for-profit prison in Michigan to begin taking high security prisoners from anywhere in the country. The prison-for-profit corporation Geo Group has a history of sketchy behavior in other states with lawsuits and a U.S. Department of Justice investigation under their belt.
- On top of all of that, last night Gov. Snyder signed a bill into law that will deny welfare benefits to an entire family if just one of the children in the family is chronically truant. It literally puts the entire family at risk of one child is having problems.
All of this and we still have one more day to go.
It really feels like a Republican lame duck session this week. It’s clear that Republicans see that they have complete control over our state government and have no plans to waste that time. There doesn’t seem to be a single corporatist-backed or religionist-supported issue that they aren’t nailing down with regressive new laws. The Koch brothers, the American Family Association, Right to Life, all of these regressive groups and more seem to have direct conduits directly into our state legislature.
It’s going to be a long 17 months until November 2016…