Weeks before Michigan’s new Democratic governor, attorney general, and secretary of state are set to take office, the state’s GOP-controlled legislature on Tuesday rolled back progressive policies, passing amendments to do away with Michigan’s minimum wage increase and paid sick leave.
The legislature initially approved the measures in September. Advocates had originally intended on making the policy changes through ballot initiative during the midterm elections, expecting them to receive widespread support from voters — but soon realized that the Republican-majority had voted in favor of the bills likely because they intended on stripping the laws during the lame-duck session.
Here we go again. The GOP loses and throws a tantrum to enact their will anyway. Whereas the Republicans in Wisconsin stripped some powers of the incoming Democratic Governor, Michigan played the long game to make sure minimum wage and sick leave wouldn’t be decided by a pesky little thing called democracy.
They knew back in September that they had no intention of allowing these progressive policies to stand, but they approved the measures anyway. That way, they were kept off the ballot for the midterms. If the people had voted for them directly, they would be harder to nullify, but since the legislature approved them, the legislature has the power to strip them away, which is exactly what they’re doing before the new Democratic governor, attorney general, and secretary of state take office.
How do we impress upon our representatives that Republicans have no intention of playing fair and we have get in the gutter with them in order to clean it up? We can’t afford to go high when they keep taking a baseball bat to the knees of democracy.