The Right To Work Debate: Live Blog - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

The Right To Work Debate: Live Blog

We'll update this story as events warrant. Please check back throughout the day.

4:51pm: Today's protest at the Capitol - with some 12,500 people - is perhaps the largest gathering at the Capitol in two decades, according to officials there.

3:30pm: Two arrests, no injuries. That's all that's happened so far at the Capitol protests, according to the Michigan State Police. They also say the crowd appears to be thinning...a little.

2:30pm: Emerald Morrow reports that police are making arrests outside the Romney building. There seems to be quite a crowd there.

2:00pm: Many of the protesters seem to be shifting over to the Romney building (No. Not that Romney. It's named after his dad, the former governor of Michigan.) That's where the governor has his offices. Our attention is shifting there, too - as the governor's signature is the next step in the process. Just got off the phone with the governor's office. They don't have a day and time for the signing yet.

1:51pm: Jesse Jackson is in the House. So is Jim Hoffa (No. Not that one. His son is president of the Teamsters Union.)

1:35pm: House passes 2nd "Right To Work" bill. Now moves to the Governor for his signature.

1:16pm: The House is back in session and debating Senate Bill 116, which applies "Right To Work" to private companies. Representative Mark Meadows (D-East Lansing) has the floor.

12:39pm: The House has taken a break after the first vote. State Representative Dave Agema says he's "enjoying" the protests:

12:04pm: The House passes HB 4003 - which is a "Right To Work" for public employees - by a vote of 58-51. Chants from the gallery follow.

12:00pm: We have video of police getting into a scuffle with two protesters. We'll play it on 6 News at Noon and have it online soon. Also, the Speaker of the House is addressing the chamber, which could indicate that a vote is coming up very soon.

11:45am: CHAOS AT THE CAPITOL - Protesters have torn down a tent being used by Right To Work supporters. Police have swarmed the area. No word on arrests or injuries - but we have a crew there and we're working the story:

11:13am: Michigan Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer says Michigan State Police are trying to intimidate protesters because they've got tear gas and other equipment ready. Police say they just need to be ready if violence breaks out:

10:41am: House Democrats are upset about a $1 million appropriation (money set aside for the bill). The appropriation prevents the public from doing a referendum on the bill since there's money attached to it. One speaker says if Governor Snyder wants this bill so badly, "let him pick up the check."

10:40am: Deanna Falzone reports that the Capitol is back open.

10:35am: Michigan House of Representatives voting on amendments to House Bill 4003 (relates to public unions). If any of them pass, it may have to go back to the Senate. A vote on the whole bill (if and as amended) should be coming up after going through all the proposed amendments.

10:26am: Brittany Gray spoke with the Michigan Department of Education - Addison Community Schools, Fitzgerald Public Schools, Taylor School District & Warren Consolidated Schools are closed today, but the districts did not say if this was a result of the protests.

10:25am: Michigan State Police say crowds inside and outside number more than 10,000.

10:22am: You can watch and listen to the House proceedings here:

10:13am - Chivon Kloepfer says protesters continue to pour in "by the hundreds."

10am - The House of Representatives is about to go into session. They're taking up two bills - Senate Bill 116 pertains to private unions and HB 4003 pertains to public/government unions.

If these bills pass without changes, they'll move to the Governor's office for his signature. As of this morning, we don't know if this will happen today or not. The governor suggested it would happen sometime this week:

Meanwhile, thousands of people have poured into and around the Capitol to try and stop this - or at least make their feelings known.

We've got a bunch of reporters on this: Tim Skubick covering the Legislature, Emerald Morrow and Annie Chang inside the Capitol, Deanna Falzone and Chivon Kloepfer outside the Capitol, and Maria Hechanova keeping tabs on the police.

9:55am - The Capitol is at capacity and is closed temporarily. Police say they'll let people in when other people start morning out.


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