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Politics & Government

Michigan state lawmakers waiting on a court decision on "immediate effect"

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(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
A view from the floor of the Michigan State House

The Michigan Court of Appeals may rule today in a dispute about how State House Republicans are passing bills.    

House Republicans have tacked on “immediate effect” provisions on more than 500 bills this year.  That means the bills will become law as soon as Governor Snyder signs them. But Democrats complain the “immediate effect” provisions are being added without the constitutionally required two-thirds vote.

An Ingham County judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the practice. House Republicans have asked the Michigan Court of Appeals to toss out the injunction.  

Ari Adler is a spokesman for State House Speaker Jase Bolger. He says it’s the judge who’s overstepping his constitutional authority by interfering with the internal rules of the legislature.

“It is not a question of constitutionality of what we’ve done because the (Michigan) constitution clearly says you need two-thirds…it does not indicate how the House will operate day-to-day…that falls to House rules," Adler says, noting also that Democrats have often used the same legislative maneuver when they’ve been in the majority.

The injunction directly affects two laws already signed by the governor: a ban on school districts collecting union dues and a ban on graduate student research assistants at U of M forming a union.    

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