Thursday, November 24, 2022
HomeEducationLame duck can be quiet in Michigan Legislature as GOP management nears...

Lame duck can be quiet in Michigan Legislature as GOP management nears finish


After the final midterm election, Michigan lawmakers voted on 300 payments and ended the time period with an exhausting 21-hour day as Republicans seemed to push by way of controversial laws earlier than Democrat Gretchen Whitmer took workplace.

Don’t count on the following few weeks to look something like that. 

Lawmakers might collect through the lame-duck interval earlier than their phrases finish Dec. 31, however the departing GOP majority isn’t doubtless to make use of its waning days to attempt passing something that Whitmer would veto. 

“I hear rumors we would not even be doing lame duck,” stated state Rep. John Damoose, R-Harbor Springs. “I’m annoyed, as a result of I’ve some payments I’d prefer to see handed.”

Presently, the Home is scheduled to fulfill for six days — Dec. 6-8 and 13-15 — however a few of these session days could possibly be canceled, and others will doubtless be crammed with departing lawmakers’ farewell speeches moderately than legislative deliberations.

Home Republican spokesperson Gideon D’Assandro stated leaders haven’t but confirmed a schedule for the lame duck interval. Senate GOP spokesperson Matt Sweeney didn’t reply to questions on lame duck plans.

“Lame duck is prone to be a tame duck,” stated state Sen. Jeff Irwin, an Ann Arbor Democrat. “There’s not going to be a flurry of crazed motion, as is usually the case, which is unsurprising. What occurred through the election doesn’t create a ton of incentive for anybody to try this.”

In 2018, Democratic lawmakers accused the Republican majority of overreaching  within the weeks earlier than Whitmer took energy. 

Among the many lame-duck legal guidelines handed then was an unpopular GOP-backed legislation requiring the Michigan Division of Schooling to grade faculties on an A to F scale so that oldsters may higher gauge efficiency. 

Beginning Jan. 1, Democrats will management each homes of the Legislature. Even so, there can be no motive now for Republicans to ram by way of one thing partisan simply to have Whitmer veto it, stated Ellen Lipton, chairperson of the Michigan State Board of Schooling Legislative Committee and a former Democratic legislator.

Fairly than choosing fights, Lipton stated, lawmakers can be on the lookout for simple wins on points the place there’s normal settlement and on payments which have already handed one of many two chambers.

One bundle of payments that matches these standards would supply assist for college kids with dyslexia, a studying dysfunction that may have an effect on phrase recognition and studying potential.  

The payments would require faculties to display for dyslexia, present further help for struggling college students, and be sure that all college students obtain phonics-based studying instruction. They handed the Senate unanimously in Might however stalled within the Home Schooling Committee.

The departing committee chairperson, Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield Township, who misplaced a tight state Senate race, has not stated why the payments haven’t been scheduled for a listening to.  

Irwin, who has been shepherding the payments by way of the Legislature, stated there’s nonetheless time.

“It’s a kind of few (packages) that’s fully bipartisan,” he stated. “It promotes literacy. It can assist hundreds and hundreds of youngsters. Employers help it. And it’s gotten an incredible quantity of help.” And, he stated, declining studying proficiency underscores the urgency of passing the payments.

“If we move these payments and convey phonetic consciousness again into the classroom we’re going to assist hundreds of youngsters study to learn earlier and higher,” Irwin stated.

A few different payments have additionally handed one chamber and could possibly be taken up by the opposite through the lame duck session.

Programming may depend as a language credit score

One invoice would permit pc programming programs to switch world language credit required for highschool commencement. It handed the Home 59-49 in Might and is now teed up for a vote within the Senate Committee on Schooling and Profession Readiness.

Committee Chairperson Lana Theis, a Brighton Republican, has not stated publicly whether or not she plans to schedule a vote.

The Republican invoice had some crossover help from Democrats within the Home. It has the backing of the enterprise group, which says pc programming is a ability related to future jobs.

The Michigan Division of Schooling opposes the invoice. 

Whitmer has not taken a public place.

WorkKeys check could possibly be elective

The Home in July 2021 overwhelmingly handed a invoice that will remove a requirement for highschool juniors to take the WorkKeys profession readiness check.

Districts or particular person college students may nonetheless choose in, and the state would cowl the price of the check, below the laws.

Michigan juniors have been taking the check since 2007, when it grew to become a part of the Michigan Advantage Examination. The state spends about $4.4 million a yr for about 105,000 college students to take the check.

Proponents of the laws say that cash could possibly be higher spent on Superior Placement and Worldwide Baccalaureate exams most test-takers now pay for themselves.

Opponents say the WorkKeys assessments assist employers consider staff and assist college students uncover profession pathways.

The Senate training committee held hearings on the invoice earlier this yr and advisable passage. It now awaits motion on the Senate flooring. 

Tracie Mauriello covers state training coverage for Chalkbeat Detroit and Bridge Michigan. Attain her at tmauriello@chalkbeat.org.



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