LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Lawmakers are back in Lansing, with Democrats trying to complete some sweeping legislation before they take a break.
The Legislature is likely to adjourn early — possibly at the end of the week — so that certain bills, including presidential primary legislation moving the election to February, can go into effect early next year.
The Reproductive Health Act, which would eliminate most regulations on abortions, passed Tuesday. Still on the agenda is the energy package, which would require the state to have fully clean energy production by 2040. Both were straight party-line issues.
State Sen. Roger Victory, R-Hudsonville, sounded off on concerns expressed by many in his party:
“The reproductive health issues, as it stands, don’t represent my district or my core beliefs. I am a no vote on these and will continue to be. Also on the energy bills, especially on the siting,” he said, referring to measures that would give the state the authority to approve wind, solar and energy storage plants. “I have some concerns over those.”
Sen. Sean McCann, D-Kalamazoo, said there was an opportunity to build consensus, but ultimately differences between the two parties were too strong.
“In both cases, there’s been actually a lot of time and process dedicated to the evolution of this legislation. If at the end of the day, it comes to a party-line vote, that’s unfortunate,” he said. “We’re always trying to do as much bipartisan work as we can. But in the case of these two issues, those lines become pretty solid.”
While the session may be coming to an end, the Legislature could come back before the first of the year. Victory says he sees one issue that could bring members back:
“The financial disclosure among the legislators,” he said. “We have passed that out of the Senate. It’s currently in the House. And it seems to be having some issues getting it out of the House at this point in time with all the other noise of legislation going on. And that’s something I could see us coming back to address.”
A special session is likely dependent on the outcome of two races for mayor that involve current Democratic members of the House.
“I am waiting for the outcome of tonight to sort of see what the future holds for the balance in the House,” McCann said.
If both of the mayoral candidates win, Democrats would lose their outright majority in the House — the chamber would be split 54-54, leading to virtual deadlock. Without a clear majority, Democrats may not be able to pass anything significant and may decide not to return in December.