It’s finally time to end lame duck

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 to 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 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.

Those 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 the 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 you to speak out against lame duck and take a stand for responsible, accountable elected officials who listen to the people, not corporate lobbyists.

Sincerely,

482Forward

America Votes Michigan

Clean Water Action

Equality Michigan

Flint Rising

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

MOSES Action

ParentsTogether

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan

Pontiac Policy Council

Progress Michigan

ROC Action

SEIU Healthcare Michigan

Sierra Club Michigan Chapter

Southeast Michigan Jobs with Justice

Sunrise Movement Michigan

We the People – Michigan