More controversial bills being pushed in Michigan House and Senate

6:51 PM, Dec 12, 2012   |    comments
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The Capitol in Lansing.

LANSING (WZZM) - Things in Lansing have calmed down in the wake of the Michigan legislature's divisive right-to-work vote, but lawmakers admit they have other controversial issues on their agenda before the end of 2012.

More than 12,000 people showed up to the Capitol Tuesday to protest or support the right-to-work bills that passed the legislature.

"There were only three arrests," said Michigan State Police Inspector Gene Adamcyzk.

But Wednesday, not a single protester was in sight.

"It's business as usual at the Capitol," said Adamcyzk.

Inside the Capitol building, it was a typical, more calm environment.  Even the school children were back touring.

Ari Adler, spokesman for Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, said it's just what the House and Senate needs.

"We have a lot more work to do on a lot of other issues," said Adler.

Many of the bills ahead for lawmakers have been debated all year, including:

  • Getting rid of the personal property taxes being charged to certain businesses.
  • The overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield, ending their tax exemption status.
  • A package of bills which would put new regulations on some abortion providers
  • Letting doctors and employers opt out of providing medical care not fitting their values, like birth control.

But the issues aren't necessarily getting looked at first, according to Adler.

"The priorities to the Speaker and others in our [Republican] caucus are to deal with jobs, helping the economy, and also things that are handed to us like financial crises that are going on in the City of Detroit," he said.

All of these bills need to be voted on in the next few days. The current session of legislature is supposed to end on Friday, but Adler said it could continue through the beginning of next week to get as many of the bills decided as possible.  He said the issues could be decided in 2013, if need be.

"The bills will die at the end of the year, but we can get them re-introduced rather quickly," Adler said.

As for how the Capitol building itself is recovering after right-to-work, it only suffered about $1,000 worth of damage.  Most of the damage was due to dings in the rails of the rotunda, where people were hitting their hands and hard hats while chanting.

Reported by Hannah Saunders in Lansing

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