While the legislature remains on a two week break with no votes to report, this Roll Call Report describes some recent constitutional amendment proposals of general interest.
Senate Joint Resolution H and House Joint Resolution L: Require supermajority in “lame duck” legislative session votes Introduced by Sen. Paul Wojno (D) and Rep. Lori Stone (D), respectively, to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment requiring that any bills passed by the legislature after the first Monday in November in even years (president and governor election years) would require a two-thirds vote to become law. In other words, the measure would impose supermajority vote requirements on bills passed in “lame duck” legislative sessions held after the election. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
Senate Joint Resolution K: Ban sentencing prisoners to ‘involuntary servitude’ Introduced by Sen. Betty Jean Alexander (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to repeal a criminal punishment exception to the current constitutional provision that prohibits “involuntary servitude.” In other words, laws could not be passed that authorize sentencing prisoners to “hard labor,” or chain gangs, or other forms of work as punishment for crimes. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Joint Resolution H: Extend House and Senate term limits Introduced by Rep. Beau LaFave (R), to place before voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to extend House and Senate term limits. Under Michigan’s current lifetime term limits, representatives may only serve three terms of two-years each, and senators two terms of four-years each. The measure would change this to allow up 14 years in either the House, the Senate or some of each. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Joint Resolution J: Assert right to equitable public education opportunities in constitution Introduced by Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to assert that the state public education system is premised on “a recognition of full and equitable opportunities for education and access to literacy as fundamental human rights.” Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Joint Resolution M: Extend term limits, adopt unicameral legislature Introduced by Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R), to place before voters in the next general election a Constitutional amendment to establish a nonpartisan unicameral legislature (instead of a separate House and Senate) with 110 districts apportioned on the basis of formulas specified in the resolution, and members would be limited to four four-year terms. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
House Joint Resolution N: Reduce pay of legislators Introduced by Rep. Steven Johnson (R), to place before voters in the next general election a constitutional amendment to cap the pay of legislators at the average wage of a state resident during the previous year. Referred to committee, no further action at this time.
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