Legislature ends whirlwind session with flurry

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Republican-controlled Michigan Legislature used a marathon session that ended Friday morning to send dozens of bills to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk, capping a busy week in which Michigan became the 24th right-to-work state.

Bills awaiting the Republican governor's signature include a revised emergency manager bill that requires financially troubled local governments to choose one of four state-imposed remedies and replaces a similar law rejected last month by voters.

"We are demonstrating a meaningful commitment to the stability, vitality and safety of our cities and towns," Snyder said in a statement after the two-day session ended. "A strong Michigan demands strong communities, and addressing these needs has been a primary focus."

On Tuesday, the state House gave final legislative approval and Snyder signed bills barring unions from collecting mandatory fees from workers they represent under collective bargaining agreements. Action on right-to-work sparked the most heated protests and vocal opposition from Democrats.

Snyder, however, said the Legislature's actions will have long-term positive effects.

"I appreciate the hard work and partnership of House and Senate members this year," Snyder said. "Many significant reforms were enacted that will provide for a safer, healthier and more prosperous future for all residents and will be instrumental in continuing Michigan's comeback and creating more and better jobs."

Lawmakers also passed abortion legislation that increases regulations and requires patients to be pre-screened, and updated Michigan's voter-approved medical marijuana law. They also approved a lighting authority for Detroit, and a measure allowing people who undergo extra training to carry concealed weapons in places such as schools and churches.

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