Republicans Thwarting The Will Of The Voters-- Michigan

This is how they get away with this kind of thing

Michigan had a blue wave last month. The Republicans ran conservative businessman and combat veteran John James against mediocre Democratic Senate incumbent Debbie Stabenow. She beat him 2,214,478 (52.3%) to 1,938,818 (45.8%). Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer did even better against Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette, betaing him 2,266,193 (53.3%) to 1,859,534 (43.7%). With Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson termed out, Democrat Jocelyn Benson beat Republican Mary Lang 52.9% to 44.0%. Democrat Dana Nessel will replace Schuette as Attoney General, beating Republican candidate Tom Leonard 2,031,117 (49.04%) to 1,916,117 (46.26%). A wipeout for the GOP statewide. The Republicans fared better in gerrymandered districts-- but still lost seats.

The Michigan congressional delegation went from 8 Republicans and 6 Democrats to 8 Democrats and 6 Republicans, with Elissa Slotkin and Haley Stevens set to replace Mike Bishop and Dave Trott. (Republicans Tim Walberg and Fred Upton barely held onto their seats and will be major targets in 2020.)

In the state Senate, Republicans lost 5 seats and went from a 27-11 majority to 22-16. In the state House the GOP also lost 5 seats and went from a 63-47 seat majority to a closer 58-52 seat majority. And then came the lame duck session, with-- as in Wisconsin-- the Republicans trying to overturn the will of the voters. They have the votes so they can do it. But how do you think voters are going feel about their maneuvers?

The two things that are angering Michiganders most involve aren't about politicians but two important issues: a minimum wage increase and paid sick leave. Proponents of the two measures had gathered the signatures they needed to place both on the ballot but the Republicans, fearing these 2 popular measures would turn out more Democratic voters, passed bills to raise the minimum wage and guarantee paid sick leave, negating a need for the 2 propositions, which were both withdrawn.

So on Tuesday night, guess what the Republicans in the state legislature did. They made significant changes to both measures. The minimum wage will increase to the stipulated $12/hour-- already too low-- but instead of hitting it by 2022, it won't get there until 2030. And an increase in the minimum wage will no longer be pegged to inflation as the original measure intended. They also decreased the number of hours a worker at a large company could earn in paid sick leave. Originally workers would have been allowed to earn an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, capped at 72 hours per year. Under the new GOP plan its an hour for every 40 hours worked and it's capped at 36 hours per year.

The Michigan League for Public Policy, a group behind both initiatives, slammed the legislature for actions taken Tuesday.

“Workers’ rights and needs are too often overlooked by legislative leaders, especially those at the low end of the wage scale who are barely getting by, and instead of following the lead of what the people want and offering these much-needed supports, the Senate snatched away what little hope they had,” said President and CEO Gilda Z. Jacobs. “Low-paid workers are yet again getting left behind by the Senate action today while deep-pocketed business interests yet again get exactly what they want.”

Final House vote tallies for SB 1171 and SB 1175 were 60 to 48 with three GOP Representatives siding with the entire Democratic Caucus. Republican Representatives Joseph Bellino of Monroe, Martin Howrylak of Troy and Jeff Yaroch of Richmond all voted against these bills. Senator Tory Rocca of Sterling Heights was the lone Republican to vote no on both bills.

“I voted against both of these bills because they violate the spirit of the constitutionally defined citizens’ initiative process,” Howrylak said in a statement following the vote. “They circumvent the voters and defy logic."

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