To: Michigan Editorial Boards and Reporters
From: Below signed organizations
Re: Michigan’s Lame Duck Session
November 30, 2018
Over Two Dozen Organizations Speak Out Against #MILameDuck
Michigan is in the grips of yet another contentious Lame Duck session and we’re reaching out to your publication and editorial board to urge you to speak out against this broken process in our democracy.
What we’ve seen year after year is a Lame Duck session where soon-to-be ex-lawmakers listen to corporate lobbyists behind closed doors to ram through their pet policies at breakneck speed with little accountability or public discourse. It’s a broken piece of our democracy that needs to be harshly condemned. Whether it’s Democrats or Republicans in charge, Lame Duck is a problem.
In years past, Lame Duck has brought our state contentious policy fights at the last minute like Right to Work, overturning the people’s rebuttal of the Emergency Manager law, and attempt after attempt to increase the power of private money in our democracy. It needs to end.
This year is no different.
Senate Republicans have taken the unprecedented step of trying to gut widely-supported minimum wage and earned paid sick time proposals by introducing radical changes to the policies that were passed in September. The changes pushed by the Senate render the gains made for low-wage workers in the original policies practically moot.
At the same time, the Senate approved a bill that would grant a $115 million tax cut to businesses. The message to us seems pretty clear: the Michigan Chamber of Commerce gets what they want, while working people get left out in the cold.
The above-mentioned bills are only a drop in the bucket. There are attempts to ram through policies that will limit local control of communities, build a tunnel under the Great Lakes, limit access to reproductive healthcare, enshrine more dark money into our elections, threaten wetlands, ban public employees from effective union representation on the job, and limit the power of incoming elected officials like the attorney general and secretary of state. These are issues that should not be taken up during Lame Duck and deserve to be heard by the public in a respectable fashion.
Collectively as undersigned organizations we have taken the stance that Lame Duck is a broken piece of our democracy that needs to be fixed and we hope you’ll join us in spreading this message.
There is a popular — and unfortunate — sentiment in the public that our government no longer is of, by and for the people. Lame Duck feeds into those feelings. But it doesn’t have to be this way. We’d encourage your publication to speak out against Lame Duck and take a stand for responsible, accountable elected officials who listen to the people, not corporate lobbyists.
America Votes Michigan
Clean Water Action
For Our Future
Good Jobs Now Action Fund
International Union, UAW
Michigan Association for Justice
Michigan AFSCME Council 25
Michigan Education Association
Michigan Nurses Association
Michigan One Fair Wage
Michigan People’s Campaign
Michigan Student Power Network
MI Time To Care
Mothering Justice Action Fund
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan
Pontiac Policy Council
SEIU Healthcare Michigan
Sierra Club Michigan Chapter
Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice
Sunrise Movement Michigan
We the People – Michigan