Mar 8, 2011

Senate Republicans ignore the people and move anti-union and anti-Democratic EFM bills

LANSING – Despite thousands of workers packing the Senate gallery on Tuesday morning chanting “kill the bill,” the Senate Republicans ignored them and moved the anti-union and anti-Democratic Emergency Financial Manager (EFM) package of bills to the third reading.

The bills can be voted on as early as Wednesday and sent to the Governor for his signature. The EFM package, House Bills 4214-4218, will make it easier for financially troubled municipalities and school districts to be taken over by an emergency financial manager, and the bills give the EFM almost dictatorial like powers. The bills take the power and authority out of the hands of the people legally elected by the voters and places it in the hands of a person appointed by the governor and the Legislature, and it allows the EFM - which is why Republicans have placed the bills on the fast track - to terminate contracts negotiated with labor unions in good faith.

Many of the financial challenges municipalities face are due to mandates and budget cuts not of their own creation, but rather those that were imposed on them by decisions made in Lansing. The Governor’s proposed budget cuts will push those barely hanging on over the edge, from financial stress to financial emergency.
Senate Democrats put up 17 amendments and two substitutes to the main bill to make it more transparent, but they all were defeated along mostly party lines, with the exception of one. Sen. Tupac Hunter, D-Detroit, introduced an amendment that would not allow the EFM to be paid no more than the Governor, Michigan's highest paid elected official at $177,000 a year.

Amendments are voted on via voice vote unless the chair is not sure of the outcome or someone makes a request for a record roll call vote. The Chair, Sen. Make Jansen, R-Gaines Twp., said the Hunter amendment failed despite the obvious loud yes votes.
When a record roll call vote was called for, Republicans joined with Democrats and the amendment passed with a vote of 19-18. But about 45 minutes and 12 amendments later, the Senate Republicans moved to reconsider Hunter’s amendment, and it was then disapproved by a vote of 16-21, angering Democrats.

“We have an emergency financial manager in my community that makes $420,000, and this man will make a million dollars before he leaves,” said Sen. Virgil Smith, D-Detroit. “Are you really saying we can pay someone half a million dollars in a community that is financially strapped?”

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer, D-East Lansing, was very angry, and even though the Senate Republicans tried to gavel her down, she made her point about the basic dishonesty of Republicans, saying they have no problem making millionaire EFMs with taxpayer money, but they want to break contracts with first responders negotiated in good faith.

“We were told you were going to open it back up because more people wanted to vote for it not to defeat it,” she said.


Not Anonymous said...

Gee. This sounds like the takeover of healthcare. People all over the country were shouting "kill the bill" yet the socialist Democrats still passed the bill. Now they did have to be tricky about it. If the House had passed their version and it was different from the Senate, the Senate would then have to vote on the newer version. But Scott Brown's election to the Senate in Massachussets made it impossible for them pass another version of Obamacare through the Senate. So the Socialist Democrats in the House passed the socialist Democrats version from the Senate version claiming they'd go back and fix the problems in the bill at a later date.

And you want to complain that the Republicans are passing a bill, without hiding it, and without playing games, and without tricks, after they trounced the socialist Democrats in the last election?

Well, complain away. Elections have consequences. In the words of Obama, the election is over and we won. Get over it.

Not Anonymous said...

Imagine that. The Lansing State Journal said "hundreds" of people, but this blog says "thousands" of people. Well, don't take my word for it. Here's the Lansing state Journal Version:
UPDATED 12:10 P.M. -- LANSING -- A crowd of hundreds of union members inside the Capitol is thinning out after protesting against what they view as anti-union legislation.

And here's your version:

"LANSING – Despite thousands of workers packing the Senate gallery on Tuesday morning chanting “kill the bill,”

Since we all know you never tell a lie :::cough cough:::: I guess it must be the Lansing State Journal that can't count. Although, I've been in the Michigan Senate Gallery. There aren't thousands of seats there. Maybe they were sitting on each others laps (about 50 deep) and that's how you arrived at "thousands".

Johnny C said...


You're a lying sack of shit..That has no valid points and spew nothing but right wing talking points.

Communications guru said...

I already debunked that talking point with the situation in Wisconsin.

First, there is no “takeover of healthcare.” Second, this actually takes rights away; the right of the locals to vote for their own leaders, and the civil right of collective bargaining. At no time did I ever hear Snyder, or any other Michigan Republican, say they were going to do that. President Obama made it clear in the campaign he was going to reform health care insurance. Third, health care was debated for a year, and Republican amendments were allowed. This thing has been pushed through in just two months, and as you saw, every single Democratic amendment was rejected, even common sense ones like limiting the pay for the EFM. Not only that, they had to use dishonesty to do it.

There is no such thing as a “socialist Democrat,” and that is just a false Republican smear. As for how the bill passed, the fact is both the House and Senate have to pass identical bills, and that is what happened.

Thank you; I will “complain away,” as well as to continue to point out Republican's lies and hypocrisy. Considering that the majority of Americans do not support this union busting that is going on, those actions will have consequences on Election Day.

I stand by what I wrote, and the thousands of pro-working people spilled outside the gallery into the rotunda and even outside the Capitol.

Once again, anonymous coward, I am still waiting for you to back up your outrageous lie that we were “nearly shoulder to shoulder once.”

brad said...

Liberal utopia's such as Massachusettes are falling apart to, thanks to liberalism and obamacare. unionizing everything costs more than states can handle, health care costs are going up because of Obamacare, how do you think all of the new things to be insured will be paid for? Liberalism is falling apart at the seams throughout the country and world for that matter.

Communications guru said...

You never fail to make me laugh, as well as shake my head. To blame the workers for Bush’s recession is just ridiculous. They have done their part with concessions, even though they had a deal, but it’s not good enough; they want to take away their civil rights. Health care costs are going up, as usual, but not because of health care insurance reform. What was your excuse for the out of control costs before that? And why are health care insurance companies making such huge, record profits?

Liberalism is thriving, thanks to the lame, failed GOP attempts at union busting.

By the way, what does your rant have to do with the anti-voter and anti-union, big government bills the Michigan Senate is trying to pass? And, where the hell is “Massachusettes.” Now, if you are referring to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, it is a Liberal utopia, especially after Mitt Romney passed “Obamacare” there.

brad said...

Ha, its also Bushes fault that Gitmo is still open as well right? Thats the liberal spin to help defend Obama.

Lefties are not and will not take responsiblity for anything. Its great, next years elections should be a slobber knocker.