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Our IJP team: Gov. Snyder's RFRA veto threat could be a tactical move

Apr 2, 2015

Credit It's Just Politics with Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta

Governor Rick Snyder said today that he would veto a Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act if it's sent to his desk by the Legislature. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is the measure in Indiana that has been stirring controversy.

Snyder says he would not sign a Michigan RFRA unless it is coupled with legislation adding sexual orientation and gender identity protections to the state's civil rights law.

It's Just Politics co-hosts Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta share their thoughts on the governor's statement.

Pluta says the governor has made previous remarks that a RFRA bill would not be well received in his office, but this statement goes a step further.

"It's an unusual thing for any governor to do, to say affirmatively I will veto that if it's sent to my desk," Pluta says.

In interviews Snyder often refuses to discuss legislation until it reaches him, so this preemptive move is uncharacteristic, Clark says.

Snyder often prefers not discussing social issues, focusing on business instead. But as seen in boycotts of Indiana businesses, RFRA is tied into the economy.

Pluta recently spoke to State Sen. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, who sponsored RFRA when he was a House member last year, and again in Senate this year. Shirkey said he will continue to push for this bill, without LGBT protections.

And he told Pluta RFRA isn't the only issue about which Republican lawmakers part ways with the governor.

It seems as though Snyder is setting up relations for the future of the roads bill, Clark says.  Snyder will need Democrats' support in order for it to pass, and he may be aiming to please them with this announcement.