Jan 10, 2007
Lansing – I was one of many people lucky enough to witness an historic event today at the State Capitol when Gary Randall, the Clerk of the Michigan House of Representatives, handed the gavel over to new Speaker of the House Andy Dillon and with it Democratic Control of the House.
The Capitol was awash with the family, friends and supporters of the 110 members of the House as they took the oath of office, chose their seats on the House Floor, elected leadership and set the session days. It was really a day of celebration as the Democrats celebrated their return to power in almost a decade by virtue of their control of the House by 58-52 margin with quiet dignity and a helping hand across the aisle to their Republican colleagues.
The Redford Township Democrat pledged an end to partisan bickering, politics as usual and getting Michigan back on track in his speech on the House Floor today. With a budget deficit looming and the early expiration of the Single Business Tax (SBT) with no replacement on the horizon, Dillon plans to work hard on solutions that move Michigan forward, and toward that goal he has increased the work week of his colleagues by adding Monday session days.
Although it was a day filled with ceremony, tradition and celebration, the Democrats also got to work immediately by introducing the legislation they promised to address in the campaign and netted them the majority in the House.
Democrats introduced a bill that would end immunity for drug companies if their drugs kill or maim the people who take them, and it would repel the current ban enacted in 1996 by then Gov. John Engler designed to shield huge pharmaceutical companies from responsibility. The Democrats also addresses voter’s concerns about Canadian and out-of-state trash streaming across our borders to the tune of some 6.2 million tons of out-of-state-trash in 2005 alone, and legislation introduced would ban any landfill expansion until 2011.
The next session of the 94th Michigan House of Representatives will be Monday, Jan. 22.