A Republican Autocracy in Michigan

Elected officials removed and replaced with a non-elected official. Laws passed illegally by ignoring one party’s votes. Autocracy meets Michigan.

Michigan’s Constitution allows for the passage of emergency laws allowing them to take effect immediately, instead of 90 days from the closing of the legislative session. This is done so that in an emergency laws can be passed rapidly, but in normal times, like now, laws are able to be considered, the people they affect are given time to prepare and, if necessary, work to change or repeal the law. However, you need the approval of a 2/3 majority in each chamber to pass a law so it takes immediate effect or at least, you’re supposed to.

Since January 2011, the Michigan legislature has passed 566 laws, 546 of them were passed under “immediate effect.” That’s 95%; I can’t believe that 95% of the laws passed in Michigan needed to take effect immediately.

Here are some examples of the laws passed:

  • Removal of health benefits from domestic partners of public employees, three days before Christmas.
  • Prohibiting the Graduate Student Union from including more graduate students in their union.
  • The Emergency Financial Manager law that allows the state to appoint an un-elected manager to take control of a town, fire elected officials, cancel contracts and override issues that citizens have voted for.
  • A law making it more difficult to get a citizens’ repeal on the ballot, at the same time citizens are working to repeal the Emergency Financial Manager law.

I also can’t believe that Republicans were able to get a 2/3 vote in the House since they would need about 12 Democratic votes for each of these bills. Democrats can’t believe this either since they haven’t been voting for these laws.

What Republicans in the House have done, is take voice or standing votes to determine whether they have 2/3 majority, but Democrats say Republicans aren’t bothering to actually count the votes to ensure a 2/3 majority (you can see proof of this at 12:00 in the video below).

In short between the so called “emergency financial managers” being able to dissolve local governments and fire elected officials and Republicans in the House not counting Democratic lawmaker’s votes, Michigan has become an autocracy.

Rachel Maddow broke this story and does an amazing job breaking down these extreme and disturbing actions by Republicans in Michigan. This needs to be watched and shared widely. We can’t let Republicans get away with destroying democracy.

 

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