Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What next for Michigan?

Yesterday in Lansing.
There are a couple of options for overturning the anti-worker laws signed last night by the state's cowardly, dissembling governor. They include the courts and the ballot box.

The Detroit News reports two lawsuits were already filed -- and more are expected. 
Two lawsuits have been filed claiming the Open Meetings Act was violated when the Michigan State Police temporarily put the Capitol on lockdown during Thursday's legislative debate. One of the lawsuits was filed by the Michigan Education Association, which also won an emergency injunction to order the Capitol reopened. 
A hearing has not been scheduled in the case, attorney Art Przybylowicz said. 
"We're waiting for the court to strike down all the actions that took place while the building was shut down." Przybylowicz said, noting both chambers took actions on the bills during the lockdown. 
The other Open Meetings Act lawsuit was filed by Detroit activist Robert Davis. A hearing has been scheduled for Thursday in Ingham County Circuit Court. Davis said the court could decide to consolidate the two Open Meetings Act cases.
The bills included $1 million in appropriations, which means they cannot be repealed by referendum. But they can be overturned by a citizens initiative. Amanda Terkel at Huffington Post explains:
...labor supporters could need to gather a high number of signatories to force a vote to repeal the law, similar to what was done in Ohio with the repeal of an anti-collective bargaining law. This route does not require the removal of the appropriations in the legislation.  
Terkel also reports that the Legislature could repeal the law, since right-to-work-for-less supporters will be outnumbered in the Michigan House during the next session. We doubt that will happen.

There is also the possibility of recalling lawmakers, but the Detroit Free Press reports that's unlikely. The focus is already shifting to electing a Democratic legislative majority in 2014 -- and booting Gov. Rick Snyder out of office:
Democrats and labor leaders say they are mostly focused on 2014, when they hope to elect lawmakers and a governor who will repeal the law.
We'll keep you posted.