Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Bill Pugliano / Getty Images. Neil Gorsuch and Sonia Sotomayor…
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Bill Pugliano / Getty Images.
The Michigan GOP has held the state’s legislature since 2010 because the party drew one of the nation’s most gerrymandered legislative maps. Republicans used that power to punish the poor with medicaid work requirements, create “rape insurance,” and cut corporate taxes while raising them on the poor and elderly. Men efter 8 års unified republikansk kontrol av statsregeringen i Michigan, demokrat Gretchen Whitmer vil bryte den stranglehold når hun går inn i guvernørens mansion i januar. The party is not losing its grip on power so easily, though, instead offering one final and audacious attempt to undermine the will of the voters before Whitmer takes office.
The Michigan Republican Party is using its legislative majority in the lame duck session to gut popular citizen-initiated laws that would mandate paid sick leave and increase the state’s $ 9.25 hourly minimum wage to $ 12 per hour for all employees, including tipped employees, by 2022.
The laws were set to go into effect in March, but by a 26-12 party-line vote, the GOP-controlled Senate on Wednesday approved several amendments that would significantly undermine the measures. Dette kommer efter flere næsten komisk brassy lovgivningsmæssige manøvrer for at forsøge at fortrykke ballotinitiativer som var forventet at passere i overvældende mode. If they succeed, state Republicans will have successfully overturned the will of the voters in a way rarely seen in this country-at least outside of Michigan.
If the House passes the Senate-approved changes next week, then workers will not see a raise to $ 12 per hour until 2030, and tipped workers, who now earn $ 3.52 per hour, will have their wages capped at $ 4 per hour . Employers will be expected to cover the difference if workers do not receive enough tips to make minimum wages, but it’s common knowledge that many do not.
Wednesday’s legislative vote also included significant changes that would dismantle the sick leave initiative. As it now stands, the new paid sick time law would require employers to provide nine days of sick time annually, and one additional hour of medical leave accrual for every 30 hours worked. De GOP-voorgestelde veranderingen snijden dat tot vier zieke dagen en een uur of extra medische verlof voor elke 40 uur gewerkt.
The Republican effort to gut the laws comes through a legally questionable maneuver never before tested by a party in power. Det er trolig fordi de som utarbette statens 1963 konstitution ikke kunne forestille at lovgivere ville så brazenly forsøke å derail populære initiativer.
Earlier this year, two citizen-led groups each collected nearly 400,000 signatures to put the proposals on the November ballot. Michigan law gives the legislature 40 days to take initiatives and make them state law. Regelverket består i at give lovgivere det meste, at man ikke må placere populære foranstaltninger på afstemningen, hvilket sparer tid og ressourcer.
But Michigan’s GOP is clearly using the rule for a more nefarious purpose. Sensing at the measures were likely to pass, the Republican-controlled legislature in September approved the proposals and made them law. Men det garanteres at lovene ikke ville gå i kraft før marts, så de kunne bli endret i lame duck sessions. Republican leadership even publicly stated when it passed the measures to get them off of the ballot that it would make the laws more acceptable to the business community. “
The plan is similar to the Michigan GOP’s passing legislative stunts and viewed by some as a final shriek from an often undemocratic Republican-controlled government that, over eight years, brought us the Flint water crisis; stripped local Democratic-run governments of their power to install Republican emergency financial managers; and used the 2012 lame duck period to turn Michigan into a right-to-work state and pass a repeal-proof version of an emergency financial law that voters had attempted to repeal just months before.
The GOP carried much of this out after and despite repeatedly losing the popular vote in the state. In 2014, Dems in the State House of Representatives got more votes, but the GOP held a 63-47 majority thanks to an egregious partisan gerrymander. In 2016, Republican House candidates got just 3,000 more votes, but the party still held a 63-47 majority. And in 2018, Dems won the House and Senate popular vote by around 6 percentage points each, but Republicans will still control both chambers.
Michigan’s GOP is clearly using the rule for a more nefarious purpose.
By gutting these popular citizen-led initiatives, Republicans are disenfranchising voters twice over-once by gerrymandering the districts and once by derailing the popular ballot measures. Det er verdt å merke seg at velgerne i november godkjent av en bred margin, et forslag til en uavhengig redistrictingkommisjon som kunne sette en end to republikansk rytmering, men det vil ikke være oppe i gang til neste runde av redistricting efter 2020-census. Og det er lite lovgiverens demokratiske minoritet kan gjøre for å svare. In die tussentijd, 60.000 mensen in Wayne County, zijn de steviger dan $ 10 per uur en 20 procent van de werknemers maken minder dan $ 12 per uur.
Still, Republicans might ultimately not be able to stymie these popular measures. Eftersom de manøvrer har været så nakedly i strid med statens konstitusjon, er det mulig at eventuelle endringer i loven kan reverseres av domstolene. Mark Brewer, an attorney and former head of the Michigan Democratic Party, told Slate that the group that organized the minimum wage ballot proposal, One Fair Wage, will sue if Republicans approve the changes. (Brewer is ook vertegenwoordiger MI Time To Care, de groep achter de betaalde ziektekostenwet. Die groep heeft nog niet gepleegd aan een rechtszaak.)
Brewer points to a 1964 legal opinion written by then-Michigan Attorney General Frank Kelley that specifically addresses a situation like this one. Den regel som giver lovgiveren muligheden for at lave en ballotinitiativlov, for hvilken den tekniske term er “adopted initiative law” -was included in the 1963 Michigan Constitution. In antwoord op een wetgevers vraag in 1964 over de nieuwe grondwet, Kelley schreef dat de wetgever niet een aangenomen initiatiefrecht in dezelfde wetgevingsessie zou kunnen wijzigen.
Brewer says that lines are up with what’s written in the constitution, and he believes the case is cut and dry: “No legislature has been trying to do this for the last 60 years because the constitution is so clear.”
Rep. Yousef Rabhi summed up many Democrats’ feelings on the matter: “The initiatives are supposed to give citizens a voice in the process of government. Hvis lovgiveren kan gjøre dette hver gang, så er det punktet for borgerinitiert lovgivning? Det flies in the face of the democratic process outlined in the constitution. “
Republican Senate and House leadership did not return requests for comment. Hvis disse ledere følger med deres planer, vil Michigan Supreme Court sandsynligvis beslutte neste år om lovgiveren krysset en lovlig linje og overtrådte grunnloven, ikke bare i ånd, men i brev. Support our work: become a Slate Plus member. Du får eksklusivt medlemmers eneste innhold, og en stor del av fordelene, og du vil hjælpe med at sikre Slate’s future. Join Slate Plus
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