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Michigan Legislative Update

Week of October 20, 2016

By Judy Augenstein

With 17 days to go before the November 8 election, campaign television advertisements are increasing in crucial House districts.  Republicans are attempting to link their opponents to "Obamacare" and higher taxes. Democrats are focusing on GOP candidates allegedly working to benefit corporations, special interests and votes for the $134 million Capitol View Senate office building.

The seven most targeted seats include:

The 71st House District, where former Rep. Teresa Abed of Grand Ledge is attempting to defeat Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville.

The 62nd House District where Democrat James Haadsma of Battle Creek is hoping to unseat Rep. John Bizon, R-Battle Creek.

The the 61st House District with Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Oshtemo and Democrat John Fisher of Portage

The 106th (Pettalia) race between Robert Kennedy, D-Harrisville and Sue Allor, R-Wolverine.

The 101st where Democratic former Rep. Dan Scripps of Northport is taking on Republican Curt VanderWall of Ludington.

The 91st race between Rep. Holly Hughes, R-White River Township and former Rep. Collene Lamonte, D-Montague.

The 108th district where Republican Beau LaFave, Iron Mountain is going up against Democrat Scott Celello of Iron Mountain.

House Republicans are actively working to maintain the majority while Democrats are actively working to attain the majority.

Michigan would be the second state to join in a call for a constitutional convention to impose Congressional term limits if a House resolution proposed this week passes.  Rep. Tom Barrett, R-Potterville sponsored HJR TT hot on the heels of presidential nominee Donald Trump's call for Congressional term limits. 

Trump told supporters this week that he would continue his ethics reform push by advocating for term limits for members of Congress.  The Republican candidate also released this week a five part ethics plan aimed at reforming federal revolving door policies between government officials and lobbyists. 

Rep. Barrett's proposal suggests limiting members of Congress to serving four terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and 12 years in the U. S. Senate.

The Senate was in session three days this week attempting to move legislation over to the House for consideration following the November 8 election.  The House was scheduled for a one day session, but no attendance or votes were taken.  Both the Senate and the House will return on November 9 to assess losses and gains and to begin work on their schedule for the "Lame Duck" session. 

New Legislation introduced this week:

H.B. 5981, sponsor Rep. Ken Goike, R-Ray Township, requires certain wood products manufacturers provide workers compensation for employees.  Referred to Commerce and Trade Committee.

H.B. 5995, sponsor Robert Wittenberg, D-Oak Park, eliminates the log plate for wood harvesters.  Referred to the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.

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