Crucial work going undone while Republicans freeze Legislature to enjoy summer vacation

LANSING, Mich., Aug. 17, 2022 — Members of the House Democratic Caucus held a press conference today on the Capitol steps to condemn legislative Republicans for refusing to do the work that Michiganders need and deserve. The majority Republicans set the session agenda and, behind closed doors, decided to abandon their responsibility to their constituents in favor of an extended summer vacation. House Democrats were at the Capitol today to demonstrate their willingness to work and highlight the bills that need to pass immediately.

“This Summer Vacation has gone on long enough and whether the Republican majority wants to or not, it is time to get back to work for Michigan” said House Democratic Leader Donna Lasinski (D-Scio Township). “The business of the people doesn’t pause, and yet there hasn’t been a voting day of session in the Capitol for seven weeks. We need to give inflation relief and protect women’s rights now. We need to address student readiness for the upcoming school year. House Democrats have crucial pieces of legislation ready to pass for Michiganders and the Republican majority is more focused on protecting their summer vacation than doing the job we were sent here to do.”

As inflation and other external factors have driven up prices for gas, groceries and more, House Dems have bills that would put money directly into Michiganders’ pockets, like enacting the MI Tax Rebate Right Now plan to send every household a $500 check. Bills to cut taxes by expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and repealing the punitive retirement tax are also on the table. While reproductive freedoms hang by a thread, bills to codify bodily autonomy and repeal the draconian 1931 abortion ban are ready for a vote. And when corporations ignore more than 400 alarms as they spill toxic chemicals into a drinking water source for thousands of people, House Democrats are ready to pass legislation to require companies to pay for the messes they create.

“In my district today’s a workday, we were sent here to do a job,” said state Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit), Democratic vice chair of the House Appropriations Committee. “We’ve got urgent bills to address the problems hitting Michiganders’ pocketbooks, their grocery bills, their back-to-school budgets, their retirement funds, and bills to defend reproductive rights and protect our environment from imminent and ongoing disasters. It’s shameful that Lansing Republicans are obstructing our ability to get these bills passed for Michiganders, they aren’t interested in working on the issues that matter to you, and they refuse to allow us to get back to work.”

The bills highlighted by the Democratic caucus include:

  • HB 6346 – MI Tax Rebate Right Now (Sponsor: Rep. Shannon)
  • HB 6117 – Retirement Tax Repeal (Rep. Garza)
  • HB 4933 – EITC Expansion (Rep. Witwer)
  • HB 5176 – Back to School Sales Tax Holiday (Rep. Shannon)
  • HB 6279 – MI Kids Back on Track (Rep. Haadsma)
  • HB 5542 – Reproductive Health Act (Rep. Pohutsky)
  • HB 5289 – 1931 Abortion Ban Repeal (Rep. Bolden)
  • HB 4314 – Polluter Pay (Rep. Rahbi)