DETROIT – Hi, and welcome to Flashpoint.
It was another busy week in Detroit and Michigan -- but in particular, Wednesday and Wednesday night. It was a little like sitting in a straightaway at the Detroit Grand Prix watching the bills whizzing by. And Democrats were doing the driving.
First, lawmakers voted to expand the protections of the Elliot Larsen civil rights act to gay and transgender Michiganders.
Read: Michigan House votes to add LGBTQ+ protections to Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act
Also, the House got busy on the trio of gun bills that we’ve talked about -- background checks, red flag laws, and safe storage provisions, while democrats in the senate were getting rid of the state’s 1931 anti-abortion law - the House then followed suit.
Wait, there’s more -- after some very testy committee hearings, the House voted to repeal Michigan’s status as a right-to-work state. In the same breath, they reinstated prevailing wage in Michigan.
Also: Effort to repeal Michigan’s ‘Right to Work’ policy underway: What to know
Tricky moment ahead perhaps for the governor because these bills were passed with provisions that make them referendum proof,
A tactic that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer promised to veto back when republicans were in charge of the legislature.
But a bigger question, living as we do in the middle of what Mayor Duggan referred to in his State of the City address as hand-to-hand state combat, is -- what does right to work really mean in the cutthroat world of jobs and economic development?
Watch: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan delivers his 10th State of the City speech
And on the heels of a lot of economic news this week, we’ll again turn to UofM economist Justin Wolfers. Is the fight to control inflation pushing us ever closer to a recession?
You can view the March 12, 2023, episode of Flashpoint in the video player above.