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PNS Daily Newscast - December 18, 2018 


Senate reports detail Russian influence via social media on the 2016 election. Also on Tuesday's rundown: North Carolina jurors reject the death penalty for a second consecutive year; and Medicaid expansion proves important to rural Kentuckians.

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Protesters to Lame-Duck Lawmakers: Please Go Home

Groups rallying against big changes during the lame-duck legislative session made their point at a rally in front of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce on Monday. (Sam Inglot/Progress Michigan)
Groups rallying against big changes during the lame-duck legislative session made their point at a rally in front of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce on Monday. (Sam Inglot/Progress Michigan)
December 4, 2018

LANSING, Mich. — It may be cold outside, but the temperature is rising in Lansing as protesters say they don't want the Legislature to undercut the will of the voters, made clear during the election a month ago today.

Groups including Good Jobs Now, We the People and the Sunrise Movement are bringing people in from across the state to pack committee hearing rooms and fight any attempt to subvert the policies people endorsed in the midterm elections. Sam Inglot, deputy communications director at Progress Michigan, said the state would be better off if lawmakers just took off for the holiday break a few weeks early.

"They need to just leave well enough alone and go home,” Inglot said. “There's not a single policy that's really been introduced that helps working families or improves our democracy or opens up more transparency. In fact, we're seeing the exact opposite."

Come January, Republicans will lose their supermajority in both houses of the state Legislature, and they'll face a new Democratic governor, secretary of state and state attorney general. So they've proposed a measure to strip away some of the powers of those offices.

And the House could vote as early as Tuesday to amend the new sick-leave law and weaken the new minimum wage by exempting tipped workers. Conservatives argue they are trying to correct policies they believe are excessive.

Inglot's group protested Monday in front of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce - arguing that the state, and the country should rethink the whole concept of a lame-duck session.

"This is a partisan power grab. It's retaliation against the people of Michigan, who spoke loudly and wanted progressive women legislators to be in the executive branch of government,” he said. “And this is kind of the last breath of total Republican control in Michigan."

Inglot noted that similar partisan moves are currently under way in Wisconsin, where the Legislature is trying to tie the hands of the incoming Democratic administration and force them to continue supporting a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.

Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - MI