Michigan Democrats Move Quickly on Labor, Gay Rights, and Guns

The newly empowered Democratic legislature in Michigan wasted no time to begin the work the voters expected of them, repealing an archaic abortion law, a right-to-work law, codifying LGBTQ rights, and expanding background checks on gun purchases.

With a narrowly won trifecta — control of both legislative chambers and the governorship — Democrats quickly dismissed Republican rejections after spending years on the decision-making sidelines.

*Does this guy have experience in auctioneering?

In a single afternoon and evening of voting, the Michigan House of Representatives voted to repeal a right-to-work law loathed by labor unions, expand background checks for gun purchases and enshrine civil rights protections for L.G.B.T.Q. people in state law.

The State Senate voted to repeal an abortion ban deemed unenforceable by a voter initiative proposal in November, but still on the books.

In 2012 with full control of the state’s government, Republicans pushed through a right-to-work law that allowed employees to opt out of union dues, infuriating Democrats and union leaders in a state that had been the center of the labor movement.

Though the percentage of Michigan workers in unions has declined to about 14 percent from about 17 percent since 2012, it remains above the national average.

House Speaker Joe Tate said Michigan Democrats were poised to enact widely-known, long-held priorities.

“There’s certainly no secrets or surprises for what we want to do,” he said. “So we want to make sure that it’s getting done. And getting done in a timely manner.”

New York Times