Progress Michigan http://www.progressmichigan.org No corporate money. Just uncompromised progressive politics for Michigan. Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:58:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.3 This Week in Progress http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/week-progress-33/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/week-progress-33/#comments Fri, 19 Dec 2014 21:32:29 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37753 Victories in Lame Duck By Sam Inglot Thanks to constant pressure from progressives across the state, the damage done by the Republican Legislature was mitigated to a few smaller bills. While these bills headed for Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk won’t radically change our state individually, they do present hurdles on the track to a more […]

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Victories in Lame Duck

By Sam Inglot

Thanks to constant pressure from progressives across the state, the damage done by the Republican Legislature was mitigated to a few smaller bills. While these bills headed for Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk won’t radically change our state individually, they do present hurdles on the track to a more progressive Michigan.

However, our victories far outweigh our defeats. We managed to beat back right-wing legislation that would have stifled local control on development, rigged our presidential elections and enshrined discrimination into state law. It’s because of progressive activists and hardworking Michiganders making their voices heard and rallying in support of our causes that we were able to defeat these bills.

Bills we managed to defeat included:

HB5977: Bans community benefit agreements and ties the hands of local governments when dictating terms of local developments.

RFRA: The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has been characterized as a “license to discriminate” and would allow people to discriminate based on “sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“Anti-Coercion” Laws: This unnecessary piece of legislation would have created more barriers between women and their doctor when it comes to safe, legal abortions.

Trash as Energy: This would have expanded the definition of renewable energy to include things like burning tires.

2015 will be another tough fight, but we’re poised and ready to push for a more progressive Michigan. We don’t expect these bills to go away, but we’re ready.

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Progress Every Day

By Brad O’Neil

Just yesterday, the Department of Justice announced that “workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination on the basis of sex.”

The federal governments’ recognition of transgender rights in the workplace only underscores what we already know in Michigan – it’s time for us to do the same. Amending the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include non-discrimination protections for the LGBT community in all facets of life is a moral imperative. As Progressives, it is our responsibility to fight these battles and that is what fills me with energy as I look to 2015.

The Grassroots Strengthen Detroit

By Kim Hunter

It was a tough year of transition for Detroit and anyone who cares about its people. But those who have stayed with the city through all it’s travails stepped up again and again, working to keep the water on and even challenging the plan of adjustment with a far more humane plan: “The People’s Plan of Adjustment” that delves into root causes and proposes real solutions for the city’s challenges.

Finally, you gotta hand it to folks who use holiday spirit to shed light on a tough situation.

Happy Holidays from the Progress Michigan Team! 

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Progress Michigan Statement on Road Proposal http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/progress-michigan-statement-road-proposal/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/progress-michigan-statement-road-proposal/#comments Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:47:41 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37749 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan December 18, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Progress Michigan Statement on Road Proposal MICHIGAN — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding the announcement by Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders of a road-funding proposal.  “This package of bills is Republicans attempting to repair the damage they have caused […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

December 18, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Progress Michigan Statement on Road Proposal

MICHIGAN — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding the announcement by Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders of a road-funding proposal. 

“This package of bills is Republicans attempting to repair the damage they have caused over the past four years with their irresponsible cuts to education and programs that help struggling families,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “While we are encouraged by the prospect that the EITC will be restored and that education funding will see a much needed increase and that our roads will be repaired, we are disappointed that the funding mechanism voters will be asked to approve will disproportionately impact low and middle income families. This continues the Snyder economic policies that benefit the wealthy and big business at the expense of hardworking Michiganders.” 

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Progress Michigan Statement on Jeb Bush’s Announcement he will “Actively Explore” Running for President http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/progress-michigan-statement-jeb-bushs-announcement-will-actively-explore-running-president/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/progress-michigan-statement-jeb-bushs-announcement-will-actively-explore-running-president/#comments Wed, 17 Dec 2014 18:32:05 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37740 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan December 17, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616.916.0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Progress Michigan Statement on Jeb Bush’s Announcement he will ‘Actively Explore’ Running for President LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement in response to Jeb Bush’s announcement that he will “actively explore” running for President of the United States. […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan

December 17, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616.916.0574, sam@progressmichigan.org

Progress Michigan Statement on Jeb Bush’s Announcement he will ‘Actively Explore’ Running for President

LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement in response to Jeb Bush’s announcement that he will “actively explore” running for President of the United States.

“Before Governor Bush seeks the highest office in the land, perhaps he should study the issues that actually matter to working families in this country,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Just a few short months ago, Governor Bush stumbled when Progress Michigan questioned him on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a piece of legislation proposed in 2009 which would ensure men and women receive equal pay for equal work.”

A Progress Michigan staffer asked Bush where he stood on the issue during a campaign event for Terri Lynn Land’s failed U.S. Senate campaign but the Governor appeared to know nothing about it. When it was explained, he refused to voice his support and played semantic games, arguing that the “same work” and “equal work” were two different things.

“Republican Governors like Jeb Bush and Rick Snyder eyeing the presidency is a scary proposition and if the way they governed their states is any indication of how they will govern nationally, Michiganders should be very concerned,” Scott continued. “The last Bush we had in the Oval Office crippled our economy and plunged us into the worst recession since the Great Depression. Michiganders, as well as the rest of America, don’t need more of the same corporate-driven policies that got us into that mess in the first place.”

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This Week in Progress http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/week-progress-32/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/week-progress-32/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2014 21:44:55 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37726 Thankfully, Lame Duck is heading into its final week. Traditionally, lame duck is when we’ve seen the worst of the worst legislation pass such as Right to Work and rape insurance. This year, it’s been tamer, but we have to stay vigilant because the 2015 legislature will be redder and even more conservative. TWIP Clips: […]

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Thankfully, Lame Duck is heading into its final week. Traditionally, lame duck is when we’ve seen the worst of the worst legislation pass such as Right to Work and rape insurance. This year, it’s been tamer, but we have to stay vigilant because the 2015 legislature will be redder and even more conservative.

TWIP Clips:

Coercing bad policy

On Thursday, the Senate took yet another swing at a woman’s right to access safe, legal abortions. They passed an “anti-coercion” bill that anti-choice lobbyists at Right to Life say help prevent women from being coerced into an abortion.

There’s just one issue: it’s already illegal to coerce a woman to have an abortion. This is simply another attempt by the Republican Legislature to put hurdles in the relationship between a woman and her doctor.

Plus, this “anti-coercion” bill does nothing to protect women who may be coerced into pregnancy or women who may have had a partner mess with their birth control.

This is another example of the Republican Legislature creating so-called solutions to problems that either don’t exist or are already properly handled. The GOP is supposed to be the party of limited government, and yet, they love getting cozy between and woman and her doctor and Michiganders’ private health care decisions.

RFRA Not Resting

While the Senate has yet to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, we’re not convinced that the bill is dead just yet. There’s still another week to go before Lame Duck is officially tapped out.

It needs to be made clear that religious freedom in Michigan is not under attack and RFRA essentially seeks to enshrine the right to discriminate into law. Most of the outcry — and for good reason — has involved the fight for LGBT equality, but this bill would have much further implications if passed into law and will likely cause a massive headache for Michigan.

The Republican Legislature continues to pass bills that are unnecessary and don’t make Michigan a better place to live. Let’s hope this one dies in the Senate.

Legislature Votes to Shame Poor People

This week, despite reports that show that drug testing is a waste of taxpayer money, the House and Senate voted to shame poor people by forcing them to submit to drug testing. This is sold as a way to hold people accountable, but in reality it does nothing more than look down on people who are down on their luck.

The House and Senate failed to vote to test themselves, staffers, state contractors or corporate CEOs on corporate welfare. Just another example of the Republican-led legislature’s priorities that favor the wealthy and well-connected over average Michiganders.

Pete Lund’s Presidential Vote-Rigging Scheme Does Not Get a Vote

The House took no action on a bill that would rig Michigan’s elections. Despite a push by bill sponsor Pete Lund, the bill did not make it out of committee.

Progressives should be proud of the work that was done by those that wrote letters, called lawmakers and testified against the bill. While we can count on the Republicans in Lansing to continue their attempts to rig elections in their favor, we will continue to defend democracy in Michigan.

We’re on a Road to…Somewhere?

Our roads are bad and everyone knows it. But, despite a bi-partisan bill passing the Senate to fund road fixes, the Republican-led House can’t seem to come up with a plan that fixes our roads without robbing our schools and communities.

As of now, the House and Senate will hold a conference committee next week to try to hash out a plan. With the holidays approaching, it remains to be seen if the political courage exists in the legislature and if Rick Snyder has the leadership ability to get our roads fixed in a responsible way.

Progressive Reads:

John Dingell has served with one-quarter of all the members of the House in history

Social media meme says number of unemployed has risen sharply under Barack Obama

Banning community benefits in local development hurts Michigan

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Bills to Restrict Women’s Health Care Rights Pass Senate http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/bills-restrict-womens-health-care-rights-pass-senate/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/bills-restrict-womens-health-care-rights-pass-senate/#comments Thu, 11 Dec 2014 20:51:11 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37723 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan December 11, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org Bills to Restrict Women’s Health Care Rights Pass Senate Right to Life-backed bills do nothing to protect women LANSING – Today, the Michigan Senate passed a package of Right to Life-backed bills, Senate Bills 1156 and 1157, that make it harder for a […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

December 11, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

Bills to Restrict Women’s Health Care Rights Pass Senate

Right to Life-backed bills do nothing to protect women

LANSING – Today, the Michigan Senate passed a package of Right to Life-backed bills, Senate Bills 1156 and 1157, that make it harder for a woman to make her own health care decision about whether or not to have a safe, legal abortion. The bills do not include protections for a woman who wants to have an abortion but is pressured not to.

“This is an obvious attempt to make it even harder for women to make their own personal and private health care decisions, just as we saw the Republican Legislature do when they pushed the rape insurance bill into law last year,” said Hugh Madden, communications director for Progress Michigan. “These bills do nothing to protect women who are coerced into becoming pregnant or women who are forced to continue a pregnancy that they may not want.”

There are already laws on the books that protect women from the coercion and discrimination these bills aim to address. Legislators should be focusing on improving access to reproductive and prenatal health care, expanding access to contraceptives, and providing better sex education to young people if they want to reduce the number of abortions in Michigan.

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HB5977: Corporate Greed Over Local Control http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/hb5977-corporate-greed-local-control/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/hb5977-corporate-greed-local-control/#comments Tue, 09 Dec 2014 15:37:53 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37713 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan  December 9, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org HB5977: Corporate Greed Over Local Control LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding the Michigan Competitiveness Committee passing out HB5977: “This bill is the ultimate slap in the face to local communities and hardworking families,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News from Progress Michigan 

December 9, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

HB5977: Corporate Greed Over Local Control

LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding the Michigan Competitiveness Committee passing out HB5977:

“This bill is the ultimate slap in the face to local communities and hardworking families,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “The only people supportive of this bill are the corporate CEOs who stand to benefit from local governments who have their hands tied by the state. It seems very hypocritical that the party that claims to adore local control would pass unprecedented legislation interfering with it. Without the flexibility to ensure that workers are treated fairly and properly compensated, corporations can run roughshod over local communities.”

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This Week In Progress http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/week-progress-31/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/week-progress-31/#comments Sat, 06 Dec 2014 02:02:11 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37709 Lame Duck has officially gotten out of control and we’re getting loud about it. This Week in PM Blogging: Thou Doth Protest the Protests Protests are disruptive by nature. That’s why they work. Don’t Mess With Our Elections Rigging the Electoral College? Not on our watch. Lame Duck Legislative Update Controversial laws often fly under […]

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Lame Duck has officially gotten out of control and we’re getting loud about it.

This Week in PM Blogging:

Thou Doth Protest the Protests

Protests are disruptive by nature. That’s why they work.

Don’t Mess With Our Elections

Rigging the Electoral College? Not on our watch.

Lame Duck Legislative Update

Controversial laws often fly under the radar during lame duck. Here’s a breakdown.

TWIP Clips:

Highway robbery

Last night the House voted to patch up Michigan’s crumbling roads with funds raided from public schools and local governments — yet another demonstration of our legislators’ misplaced priorities.

Welcome to Michissippi

The amendment to add LGBT protections from discrimination to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act died in committee. Adding insult to injury, the House passed the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which would allow people to discriminate on religious grounds.

Hazardous waste is not renewable energy

House legislators voted to redefine the definition of renewable energy sources to include fuels manufactured from hazardous waste, giving fossil fuel industries a free pass to pollute Michigan’s air and water and harm residents’ health. Just in case passing the “license to discriminate” didn’t drag Michigan far enough backward for one day.

Drug testing for welfare recipients

Passed by the House on Wednesday, this is just the latest chapter in conservative state legislators’ effort to burden already-struggling families. But when will these taxpayer-salaried legislators have to pass similar tests?

Prison reforms gutted

Not even Republican-sponsored prison reform bills made it out of yesterday’s legislative session unscathed. The reforms that were ultimately passed by the House had been “gutted” after opposition from A.G. Schuette and the sheriffs lobby.

Progressive Reads:

Economist: I’ve crunched the numbers, and the American Dream is dead

Proposal To Rig The Electoral College Triggers Backlash From Michigan Residents

LGBT baby boomers face tough retirement hurdles

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GOP Roads Plan is Highway Robbery http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/gop-roads-plan-highway-robbery/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/gop-roads-plan-highway-robbery/#comments Fri, 05 Dec 2014 02:21:23 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37705 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan December 4, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org GOP Roads Plan is Highway Robbery LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement on the GOP-controlled House voting to gut funding to neighborhood schools and local governments in a misguided attempt to fix Michigan’s roads and bridges: “Republicans claimed on the […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

December 4, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

GOP Roads Plan is Highway Robbery

LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement on the GOP-controlled House voting to gut funding to neighborhood schools and local governments in a misguided attempt to fix Michigan’s roads and bridges:

“Republicans claimed on the campaign trail that they cared about Michigan’s schools and children, however, their hypocritical and short-sighted actions in the dead of night show they neither care about Michigan’s children nor good public policy,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “This legislature has already balanced massive tax giveaways for big businesses on the backs of children and families, cut over $6 billion from local communities since 2001 and Michiganders have had enough. This is no solution to fix our roads, educate our children, or run a state. This plan is highway robbery.”

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House Passage of RFRA All About Politics, Not Good Policy http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/house-passage-rfra-politics-good-policy/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/house-passage-rfra-politics-good-policy/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 22:05:12 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37701 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan December 4, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org House Passage of RFRA All About Politics, Not Good Policy LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding the Michigan House passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act: “The idea that we need to ‘restore’ religious freedom — rights that are already […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

December 4, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot, 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

House Passage of RFRA All About Politics, Not Good Policy

LANSING — Progress Michigan released the following statement regarding the Michigan House passing the Religious Freedom Restoration Act:

“The idea that we need to ‘restore’ religious freedom — rights that are already enshrined in the U.S. Constitution — is a farce created by conservative lawmakers for the sole purpose of appeasing their far-right donors and the religious-right,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “This extreme bill attempts to solve a problem that does not exist, promotes discrimination and does nothing to make Michigan a better place to live.”

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RFRA Shows Cotter’s True Colors http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/rfra-shows-cotters-true-colors/ http://www.progressmichigan.org/2014/12/rfra-shows-cotters-true-colors/#comments Thu, 04 Dec 2014 16:51:00 +0000 http://www.progressmichigan.org/?p=37699 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE News from Progress Michigan December 4, 2014 Contact: Sam Inglot: 616-916-0574, sam@progressmichigan.org RFRA Shows Cotter’s True Colors In first act after being elected House Speaker Cotter ushers through bill to enshrine discrimination in Michigan law  MICHIGAN — Below is a statement by Progress Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott following the passage of the RFRA bill […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News from Progress Michigan

December 4, 2014

Contact: Sam Inglot: 616-916-0574sam@progressmichigan.org

RFRA Shows Cotter’s True Colors

In first act after being elected House Speaker Cotter ushers through bill to enshrine discrimination in Michigan law 

MICHIGAN — Below is a statement by Progress Michigan Executive Director Lonnie Scott following the passage of the RFRA bill sponsored by Speaker Bolger.

“Representative Kevin Cotter has shown his true colors today and foreshadowed the type of behavior we can expect from his tenure as Speaker of the Michigan House,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “Michigan residents have been clear that they want equality for everyone in our state and instead Republicans are moving to enshrine discrimination into state law.”

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