25ºF

Michigan GOP lawmakers' lame-duck frenzy stirs controversy

LANSING, Mich. – Among the political flashpoints in this lame-duck session in Lansing are pieces of legislation that would limit the power of the attorney general and the secretary of state.

Democrats can't help but wonder if Republicans would be trying to push the bills through had their party won those races last month and they're voicing their concern.

The Democrats won the offices of governor, attorney general and secretary of state for the first time in nearly 30 years and now bills happen to come up to chip away at the duties of those offices.

Republicans said it is a coincidence.

"I think the timing tells you everything you need to know," Rep. Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, said.

"I think the fact we have an all-Democratic executive branch next year plays a huge part and they want to get as much leg done as they possibly can," Rep. Fred Durhal III, D-Detroit, said.

The legislation includes a House bill that would allow the Legislature to intervene in state court cases, possibly blocking incoming Attorney General Dana Nessel.

A Senate bill looks to remove campaign finance oversight from the jurisdiction of the secretary of state who will be Jocelyn Benson. Both Nessel and Benson are Democrats.

"The Republican motivation to take the power away and push these bills is to take power away from elected Democrats," Greimel said.

"I don't buy it. We have (the) judiciary and the governor and the House and Senate," Sen. Rick Jones R-Grand Ledge, said. "We need to have a balance."


About the Authors: