Republicans who control Michigan's Legislature voted Wednesday to advance a measure that strips campaign-finance oversight power from the Democratic secretary of state-elect, and they moved to give lawmakers authority to stand up for GOP-backed laws if they think the incoming Democratic governor and attorney general are not adequately defending the state's interests.
Greg Magarian, professor of law at the School of Law, doesn't see any constitutional roadblocks to recent movements by the Wisconsin and Michigan Republican-majority legislatures created to limit power of newly elected Democratic governors.
Republicans says the concept is not "unique", pointing to the Federal Election Commission and similar panels in other states.
Democrats say the move in the critical Midwestern battleground states where their party reclaimed both governorships for the first time in almost a decade ignores the will of the voters and undermines their ability to govern.
Secretary of State-elect Jocelyn Benson ran on a platform of election transparency, so the legislature basically changed the rules so that that is no longer included in her job description. But Democrats and proponents of the redistricting law say the incoming Democratic secretary of state is perfectly capable of implementing it without intrusion from the GOP-controlled Legislature. Legislative director Shelli Weisberg said the bills now would let people registering to vote in the two weeks before an election submit an affidavit if they do not have photo identification, which she referred to as "an important hurdle" that was addressed. Walker has not signified his action but he has worked in concerts for many years with Republican legislative heads there. He says a handful of people desperately want to "cling to power".
Democratic Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel is thought to be the aim of an additional bill which provides the legislature with the right to wade into legal battles involving the state.
Bridge magazine reports that a member of the State Board of Education has said they will sue if the board is approved. "This in an institutional bill created to ensure that the legislative branch has a voice". Republicans argue that the new body, which would be made up of three Democratic and three Republican legislators appointed by the governor, would promote bipartisan cooperation.
"The Legislature makes the laws, the executive branch enforces the laws and the judicial branch interprets the laws", said Rep. Robert Wittenberg of Huntington Woods. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.
Democrats also criticized the bill that would prescribe how Benson randomly selects the four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents to sit on the redistricting panel.
The new legislation would allow districts to apply to become "innovative districts" that are exempt from most state education rules and would answer to the new commission.
"The incoming secretary of state was elected to preside over election matters", said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich of Flint.
As part of the package passed early Wednesday morning, Republicans codified work requirements for some Medicaid recipients.
Yet the GOP sponsor, Sen. The legislation approved Wednesday would prescribe criteria for determining applicants' political affiliation.
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