House Dems Resoundingly Condemn Corporate Christmas Tree

Republicans give Michigan to corporations as a holiday gift in lame duck session
Monday, December 17, 2012

LANSING — House Democratic Leader-elect Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) and the House Democratic Caucus today denounced legislation passed during the Legislature’s lame duck session. New laws that attack middle-class economic security and women’s health, weaken accountability and transparency in elections, and override the will of the people were all passed and sent to the governor over the past two weeks. Topping the Christmas tree of shame is a new $1 billion giveaway to corporations that comes on top of a $1.8 billion corporate tax break the same Legislature passed last year.

“If there was any doubt in the existence of a Santa Claus, the lame duck action erased it: Republicans fell over themselves to hand over a gift-wrapped sack of goodies for their corporate donors and extreme special interest groups,” Greimel said. “These bills ran over Michigan voters like a sled, leaving our state’s middle-class families, kids and women trampled in its wake.”

The action in this Legislature was relentless, but it was far from positive for the people of Michigan. Low-lights of the lame duck session include:

  • The undermining of collective bargaining rights through the union-busting “right-to-work” laws rammed through the Legislature without a single committee hearing or word of public testimony (House Bill 4003 and Senate Bill 116). Merry Christmas, Michigan workers!
  • Severe restrictions on women’s health care, including a law intended to regulate most of the state’s abortion providers out of business and a new requirement that women buy an additional insurance rider for abortions (HB 5711). Happy Hanukkah, Michigan women!
  • The utter disregard of the will of Michigan voters by reinstating an emergency financial manager law that lets the governor appoint dictators to struggling cities (SB 865). Happy Festivus for the rest of us!
  • A re-write of our corrections code that allows corporations to run private prisons (SB 878). Merry Yule, Michigan corrections officers! Stay safe, those of you who will live near these corporate prisons!
  • The elimination of the personal property tax (HB 6022, 6024-6026), will drain hundreds of millions of dollars out of local police and fire departments and local schools. As this will impact each and every Michigan resident, that’s a Happy Kwanzaa, Michigan businesses!
  • Not last, and certainly not least, a revision of the recall law designed to make sure that the legislators who forced these laws onto us will be almost immune from the threat of recall in the coming years. Happy New Year, everyone!

Taken together, these new laws amount to a corporate takeover of the priorities of Michigan Legislature, Greimel said.

“Instead of representing the needs and wants of the people who put them into office, Republican politicians are relentlessly serving their corporate donors and ignoring the will of the voters by making it harder for people to hold them accountable,” Greimel said. “What Republicans have done to Michigan in this lame duck session is shameful. The House Democrats won’t rest until Michigan’s government is once again working for the people, not against them.”