It’s an election year — and that means state lawmakers won’t be seeing much of their Lansing offices for a while.
The state House met for three weeks, the state Senate for two after their summer break. Lawmakers are scheduled to return briefly in October. But major action is not expected until after the election.
But before they scattered to knock on doors, lawmakers debated and passed several important pieces of legislation.
Legislation to make kids who fail the state reading test repeat the third grade is on its way to the governor, along with a bill that would expand the Good Samaritan law that gives people immunity from drug possession prosecution if they call 9-1-1 to report an overdose.
Gov. Snyder has already signed medical marijuana legislation that passed on September 14.
Rep. Al Pscholka (R–Stevensville) says they accomplished a lot in three weeks. “Some folks have gotta run for election and, and, no I’m pretty comfortable with where we’re at,” he said.
The legislature also saw movement on bills to make the governor and lawmakers subject to public records requests. Legislation meant to promote autonomous vehicle development also advanced along with bills restricting the use of restraint and seclusion in schools.
Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) doesn’t feel this is enough. He says there’s still a lot of work to do, “And I would have hoped that we would have been here to work on those issues. Democrats are ready to be here and working.”
When they get back, lawmakers will likely work on bills dealing with Flint lead levels, autonomous vehicles and energy.