Part Time Legislature

Michigan Senate Republicans invoke “leadership” strategy gleaned from watching South Park.

Just when you thought that things couldn’t get any stranger?

I bet you’re wondering which strategy that is?

Well, wait no longer (Here’s a hint: We’re at Phase 1)

{Click below the fold for details.}

You Betcha! (12)Nuh Uh.(0)

Yet, Studley was too Cowardly to Push Prop 15-1?

Never forget, and never take your eyes off the slippery Dick.

What is it that SOB’s in Lansing, do not understand about no new taxes?

Look, as long as Kirk Steudle is in charge of MDOT, which has the money to waste on stupidity like this, our legislature has not done its job.

Time for part time legislature because, 51.4¢ a gallon on gas, and 55.6¢ a gallon on diesel: http://www.api.org/state-taxes/michigan.pdf

Part time legislature because we are #6: http://taxfoundation.org/blog/map-state-gasoline-tax-rates-2014

You Betcha! (15)Nuh Uh.(0)

Ready For A Crime Wave?

Governor Snyder's 'Smart Justice' Improves The Risk/Reward Payoff For Armed Criminals

Jackson PrisonMichigan House Bills 4419/4420, Proposed Substitute H-3, gut Michigan’s 25 year old mandatory minimum sentences for crimes committed with firearms. Introduced by Republican Representative Kurt Heise (R-20th) of Plymouth and co-authored by 28 bleeding heart Republicans (4) and Democrats (24), these bills:

    1. Convert Michigan’s long standing mandatory 2/5/10 year minimum sentences for criminals using firearms into maximum sentences
    2. Allow ‘use of firearms’ sentences to be served concurrently with the underlying crime sentences for the first time
    3. Allow prisoners serving ‘use of firearms’ sentences to be paroled prior to completing even these sentences

Now the proponents of ‘Smart Justice’ are telling the public that their effort will:

    – reduce the number of ‘non violent prisoners’ held in Michigan prisons
    – reduce the price Michigan pays for incarceration

As you might imagine, this is quite attractive to Michigan politicians who just got slapped down on Proposal 1. The Michigan Department of Corrections consumes $ 2 billion in General Fund revenues every year.  Roughly 20% of the total General Fund.

Governor Snyder kicked off this issue back in early March with his Special Message to the Legislature on Public Safety. The primary public advocate driving his ‘Smart Justice’ sentencing reforms is one Barbara Levine, the Assistant Director of Research and Policy at the Citizens Alliance on Prisons and Public Policy and one of Governor Snyder’s appointees on Michigan’s new Criminal Justice Policy Commission. She just released a massive study titled “10,000 fewer Michigan prisoners: Strategies to reach the goal”. This could produce up to a 23% drop in prison spending, something on the order of $ 450 million a year. A lot of new Lansing office buildings with views and more idle train cars in Owosso. A Pavlovian metronome irresistibly beckoning our state politicians.

But how much would it cost Michigan residents in crime taxes?

You Betcha! (11)Nuh Uh.(3)

Unconstitutional: Great Lakes Water Authority Lease Violates Michigan Constitution

--- Absence of Enabling Legislation Clearly Violates Article III, Section 6 --- 40 Year Lease Period Clearly Violates Article VII, Section 30

GLWA Detroit Seal ImageFriday, the Great Lakes Water Authority board approved a 40 year duration lease of Detroit Water & Sewerage Department’s assets and operations outside of the city of Detroit. This approval passed by a 5 to 1 vote with only Macomb County’s representative on the GLWA board opposed. The terms of the lease subordinate the DW&SD to the GLWA, a new intergovernmental authority created out of the ashes of the City of Detroit’s bankruptcy by a Memorandum of Understanding.

This deal was constructed as a lease to evade the 1963 Michigan Constitution‘s requirement, under Article VII, Section 25, for a vote of Detroit’s electors to approve the sale of any public utility. However, by constructing the deal as a lease, the City of Detroit is essentially granting a lease franchise covering the DW&SD’s water and sewerage operations to GLWA. The 40 year term of this lease franchise clearly exceeds the 30 year maximum permitted by Article VII, Section 30 of our 1963 Constitution:Michigan Constitution of 1963 Article VII Section 30
Merriam-Webster defines a ‘franchise’ as “ the right to sell a company’s goods or services in a particular area; also, a business that is given such a right”. Exactly the nature of the GLWA lease agreement with the City of Detroit. Should you doubt that the City of Detroit constitutes a ‘company’, Merriam-Webster defines a ‘company’ as “ an association of persons for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise”. Exactly what DW&SD has been doing for over 100 years.

State Representative Kurt Heise (R-20th) from Plymouth has challenged the establishment of GLWA under the 1963 Michigan Constitution’s Article VII, Section 28:Michigan Constitution of 1963 Article VII Section 28
Taken together with the 1963 Michigan Constitution’s Article III, Section 5:Michigan Constitution of 1963 Article III Section 5
it establishes our Legislature’s authority over intergovernmental units. But these two sections do not unambiguously grant the Michigan legislature exclusive authority over intergovernmental units, so there is probably legal wiggle room here.  Contrary to Representative Heise’s contention, a good lawyer could make a case that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court could establish the GLWA under Article VII, Section 28 and Article III, Section 5.

However…..

You Betcha! (17)Nuh Uh.(1)

Kids, it Looks Like You’re Walking

Read: http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2015-HB-4672

obama-smokingThank you, Sam, come again.

It’ll be a cold day in hell before I ever pay a $500 fine to those in government for smoking a legal product in a personal vehicle.

But, hey, you know what? All those liberal Republicans and their barking moonbat Progressive Left Democrat counterparts just love children to death.

You Betcha! (16)Nuh Uh.(0)