Advance Notice: Briefs

Progressives call to end Lame Duck legislative sessions

By: - December 7, 2018 12:04 pm

Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

Is it time to end Lame Duck action in Michigan?

Sam Inglot

Sam Inglot, Progress Michigan’s relentless deputy communications director, has a provocative op-ed in the Lansing State Journal this week slamming Republicans for “gut[ting] popular policies that help working families” in this late-year session.

The GOP-controlled Legislature has taken up a number of bills giving progressives heart palpitations, including cutting minimum wage and paid sick leave proposals; tinkering with the anti-gerrymandering Proposal 2 just passed by voters; keeping the Enbridge oil pipeline running up north; taking aim at public sector unions; and yanking powers away from Gov.-Elect Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General-Elect Dana Nessel and Secretary-Elect Jocelyn Benson, who are all Democrats.

Inglot argues enough is enough and it’s time to ax Lame Duck sessions altogether:

“Lame duck is a dangerous time because for many of the legislators leaving office, they have no future in public office. They will never be held to account for their actions during lame duck. … It’s a broken process that needs to be fixed because whether it’s Democrats or Republicans who are leading the charge during the session, it’s filled with unaccountable, last minute decisions. That’s not how our democracy should work.” 

There’s also been plenty of social media chatter from progressives about gathering signatures to put a constitutional amendment on the 2020 ballot ending Lame Duck.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on 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, LGBTQs, 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 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive.