Lawmakers push to pass bills in final hours of lame duck session

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Lawmakers are working late into the night at the Capitol to pass bills during the final hours of the lame duck session.

The Republican-led legislature is eager to pass bills now in the last days of 2018 before Democrat Gretchen Whitmer takes over the governor’s office.

They’ve been at the State Capitol all day and are expected to stay late into the night.

The biggest takeaways tonight so far include the state Senate voting to allow the legislature to intervene in lawsuits. This is usually a right only allowed by the state’s attorney general.

Democrats say this is a power grab, trying to take away power from Attorney General-elect Democrat Dana Nessel before she takes office in January, but Republicans say it simply gives the legislature a voice.

Another bill passing through the Senate today shifts income tax money away from the School Aid Fund toward road repairs and environmental clean-ups.

This bill got immediate criticism from school groups and Democrats, saying low income schools could benefit from the money, but Republicans say this will be good for both school security and performance.

Finally, the state House approved a package of bills that affects Proposal 3. As you may recall, Michigan voters passed Proposal 3 last month, automatically registering Michiganders to vote when they apply for their driver’s license.

Supporters say the bills clarifies Proposal 3, allowing voters to register on the same day they plan to vote, while opponents say it would limit access for voters because they’d have to go to a designated polling location.

They say that may hurt voters in  larger cities.

“I don’t think there’s anything to see here,” said State Rep. Aaron Miller (R- St. Joseph County). “I think it’s their job to oppose these bills, but we do not change Proposal 3 one single bit and again I think these are ironclad implementations for a proposal that the mandate implementation, so I think they’re good bills.”

Stay with 6 News for the latest developments.

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