Michigan’s manic Lame Duck session continues to mesmerize national media

By: - December 15, 2018 1:12 pm

Michigan’s frenetic end-of-the-year legislative session before Democrats assume all top statewide offices continues to command the attention of national outlets.

Rick Snyder (left) and Brian Calley (right) at their year-end press conference, Dec. 11, 2018 | Ken Coleman

Reporters from national outfits like CNN attended the exit interview last week of GOP Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, eager to see if the term-limited governor would show his hand on signing the GOP-led Legislature’s flurry of conservative bills.

As the Advance reported, the only bill Snyder would cop to approving was the Great Lakes oil pipeline tunnel, Senate Bill 1197, sponsored by state Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba). And the governor did sign the Endbridge legislation less than 24 hours after his press conference.

The public only has until Tuesday, Dec. 18 to comment on the new plan. More information about the process is here.

On Friday, the Republican signed legislation cutting the legs off of two citizen-initiated ballot initiatives. The minimum wage bill is Senate Bill 1171, sponsored by Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell), and the paid sick leave bills is SB 1175, sponsored by Sen. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake).

Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

The Michigan House and Senate next week will hold its last days of scheduled votes in the Lame Duck session.

Last week, the Advance took a look at national stories on Michigan’s “power grab” during Lame Duck. The coverage has kept going, so here’s another roundup:

The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote “The G.O.P. Goes Full Authoritarian” about GOP efforts to seize power from incoming Democratic state officials in Wisconsin and Michigan.

NYT columnist David Leonhardt explored corporate donors like Walgreens and Microsoft that are bankrolling the Wisconsin GOP power grab and parallels to what’s going on in Michigan.

Al Jazeera also summed up Michigan and Wisconsin Republicans’ efforts to wrest power from newly elected Democrats.

The Washington Post explored protests against Enbridge’s Line 5, which Gov. Rick Snyder just shored up with legislation he signed.

ThinkProgress slammed Snyder for signing bills gutting the minimum wage increase and paid sick leave in a story titled, “Michigan’s Snyder joins parade of lame-duck GOP governors sabotaging things on the way out.”

Slate called the GOP plan on minimum wage and sick leave “diabolical.”

Huffington Post covered the death of the union recertification bill and it also wrote about Lame Duck protests.

Boston Globe columnist Michael Cohen’s offering was, “Power grab in Wisconsin and Michigan is an assault on democracy.”

CNN published an op-ed from LZ Granderson: “Michigan, Wisconsin GOP power grabs are like ‘Breaking Bad’.”

The Atlantic covered power grab bills in Wisconsin and Michigan, comparing them to what’s happened in North Carolina.

Rolling Stone published a piece arguing that Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina are disenfranchising voters for decades to come in a piece titled, “The GOP Election Plan Is Simple: Even When You Don’t Win, Cheat.”

The National Review took a look at the anti-abortion telemedicine ban.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 23-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on C-SPAN, MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ people, the state budget, the economy and more. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 100 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive.