Are Republicans trying to steal power from Democrats just elected to take over in Lansing? That is what Democratic lawmakers say is happening in this lame duck session.
One Senate approved bill impacts the power of the Secretary of State to crack down on campaign finance violations, giving the power to a new panel. Another limits the governor’s ability to weigh in on a planned oil pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac. Plus a House approved bill allows the legislature to intervene in any court case on behalf of the state, a power previously given to the state attorney general.
“There is no other word for it. it is absolutely a power grab. It is perhaps one of the most disappointing pieces of legislation that i have seen come before me in the chamber,” said Rep. Donna Lasinski, (D-Washtenaw County)
Republicans in the House defended the bill allowing them to represent the state in court, saying lawmakers are simply making sure their laws are interpreted correctly.
“This is the legislature saying, if we are the legislature who made the law, we should be able to say we made the law here is its usefulness,” said Rep. Peter Lucido, (R-Macomb County).
“To be able to say we passed things and we would like to defend those and if the new attorney general doesn’t want to defend those, we want to take a stand,” said Rep Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw County) of the purpose of the bill.
“The legislature makes the laws and the judiciary interprets the laws,” said Lasinski. “And to say that our writing is so unclear that we would have to go to the court system, we simply should have written it better.”
It still remains to be seen whether all these bills all pass both the House, and the Senate, then are signed into law by the governor.
Are lame-duck lawmakers in Lansing hampering the incoming administration?