Right-wing rampage in Michigan, Wisconsin lame duck sessions
Jacob Crosse and Patrick Martin
28 December 2018
Lame duck sessions of Republican-controlled state legislatures in Michigan and Wisconsin have passed dozens of bills overturning voter decisions in the November 6 election. In both states, Republican state administrations were swept out of office—narrowly in Wisconsin, by a wide margin in Michigan—but the state legislatures remain under Republican control.
While the most publicized actions have been politically motivated slaps at incoming Democratic governors in the two states, the most substantive and reactionary actions have been to effectively reverse efforts to raise the minimum wage and expand voting rights in the two states.
In Michigan, the lame duck session passed more than 400 bills and sent them to outgoing Republican Governor Rick Snyder. He signed the first batch of measures on December 14, while vetoing four bills as exceeding the powers of the legislature. He is expected to sign the vast majority of the bills before he leaves office January 1.
Three referendum propositions were placed on the statewide ballot by petition drives and won approval November 6: to legalize personal possession and consumption of marijuana for recreational purposes (state law already permits its medicinal use); to establish a legislative redistricting process based on a non-partisan commission; and to expand voting rights, including same-day registration and easier early voting.
The state legislature is pushing through a package of bills making significant changes in how the three new referenda will be implemented. This would include barring individuals from growing marijuana for their personal use and establishing tight restrictions on licensing cannabis sales,…