Michigan legislators move on numerous hot-button bills
LANSING, Mich. (WNDU) - Michigan lawmakers are discussing several hot-button issues ranging from gun control to presidential elections.
Some new legislation is challenging the current way we pick our presidents with an idea that’s already approved in 15 other states.
NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE
Michigan lawmakers introduced a bill to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Coalition with the goal of making the national popular vote what determines where the state’s electoral college votes go.
Right now, all electoral college votes in Michigan, and Indiana for that matter, go to the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote in that state.
Under this system, we’ve had two presidential elections since 2000 where a candidate didn’t get the majority of the total votes and still won the race.
Bill proponents say this will ensure that the person elected president, is the one the majority of Americans voted for.
“This bill that we’re introducing would follow the principle of ‘One person, one vote’. All the voters across the whole United States votes would count toward who wins the popular vote and then who wins the presidency,” said Rep. Carrie Rheingans- (D) Ann Arbor.
This bill would not change how Michigan’s electoral votes are awarded until enough states sign onto the coalition to reach 270 electoral college voters. Adding Michigan would push that number just above the 200 mark.
The amount of gun control legislation that was introduced in the house judiciary committee reached double digits.
Ahead of the committee meeting, faith leaders, state legislators, and MSU students gathered for a news conference to talk about the need for these bills.
The MSU student body vice president said today is a day to fight while so many on campus are still grieving.
“We will grieve and we will mend, but today we will reclaim our voices, we will reclaim our campus, and we will reclaim our lives on behalf of those who we lost. We are currently fighting for their lives, who are horrified to come back to campus,” said MSU Student Body Vice President Carl Austin Miller Grondin.
Lawmakers are also working to protect reproductive rights in both the House and the Senate.
The main takeaway from these bills is that they repeal the 1931 abortion ban. The house judiciary committee motioned to send three of these bills to the House floor while the Senate Committee of the Whole moved to bring five of them to the Senate floor with a recommendation to pass.
Lawmakers heard from community organizers on both sides of the abortion issue before passing motions in both chambers.
While proposition 3 codified the right to abortion in Michigan, these bills aim to remove language from 1931 abortion ban from the state’s penal code.
Those who spoke to the house judiciary committee say their goal is to deal with three areas of the code that are now unconstitutional and unenforceable.
“Part of the problem with the 1931 law is that it was written in 1931. It is very broad, there are many gaps, it’s no longer medically accurate, and it is unconstitutional under prop three because prop three was written last year,” said Rep. Laurie Pohtusky- (D) Livonia.
And one more big piece of legislation passed out of the Senate Wednesday that aims to protect those in the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination.
Senate Bill 4 will codify protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression under the Elliot-Larson Civil Rights Act.
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