Snyder needs to veto lame duck evils
We have lost count of the atrocities perpetrated in the current lame duck session of our state Legislature. Our lawmakers unseemly behavior can only further damage the public’s confidence in our state government, which is already the least accountable and least transparent in the nation.
They not only lack a basic understanding of democracy, they apparently slept through every civics and history lesson of their school careers. Let’s begin with the checks and balances that are supposed to be the foundations of our three-part form of government. Republican lawmakers, dissatisfied with the will of voters who elected Democratic governor, attorney general and secretary of state, have passed bills to grab powers of the executive branch for themselves.
A lawmaker with a history of campaign finance violations has introduced a bill to weaken campaign reporting oversight and his colleagues will likely approve it.
Lawmakers ignored the will of voters and gutted measures to increase the minimum wage and to guarantee paid time off for sick workers. They’re expected to nullify parts of the recreational marijuana issue passed overwhelmingly by voters.
From scrapping wetlands protection to protecting polluters, their agenda is shameless.
And they are tinkering with bills to limit the effectiveness of the ant-gerrymandering ballot initiative that voters also approved in November. It proves how low the Republicans in Lansing will go to retain their grip on power while freely abandoning propriety, morality, accountability, transparency, democracy and conscience.
The near-term solution is that Gov. Rick Snyder must veto this dishonorable display of legislative malfeasance. Snyder has shown his independence — with vetoes — from the Republican Party in the past.
Snyder campaigned for governor as the tough nerd from outside government. He needs to remain tough against this onslaught of tawdry self-interest from the lame ducks. He must veto these bills. And we must encourage him; call his office at 517-373-3400 and ask him to stand up for democracy in Michigan.
In the longer term, we must eliminate the lame duck session of the Legislature. After every election cycle, the bad behavior seems to get only bolder and bolder.
Waiting until January to take office is an archaic leftover from a horse-and-buggy era. We must amend the state constitution to eliminate the lame duck session by eliminating lame ducks. The legislative session should end when lawmakers begin campaigning for re-election. And the new session should start immediately after the general election in November sweeps the arrogant and unethical from office.