Reis Supports End of Lame Duck Sessions


Published on February 17 2014 5:33 pm
Last Updated on February 17 2014 5:38 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

State Representative David Reis (R-Ste. Marie) has come out in support of a proposed constitutional amendment that would do away with so-called lame duck sessions.  Lame duck sessions are held after the election but before newly-elected members take their oaths of office in January.
“Lame duck sessions are a disservice to voters and taxpayers throughout the state,” said Reis.  “It seems in recent years that hotly debated political votes have been reserved for lame duck sessions where outgoing lawmakers vote in opposition to their previously stated district views.  These lawmakers know they can vote for something their district doesn’t support and leave elected office in a matter of weeks without any real accountability.”
The Reis-backed proposal would put on the November general election ballot a constitutional amendment asking voters to move the date of inauguration to the second Wednesday in December, approximately one month following the election.  Currently, inauguration is held on the second Wednesday in January.      
“Transparency and honesty must be restored to the legislative process.  Bills like establishing civil unions, the sixty-seven percent income tax increase, and abolishment of the death penalty should not have been brought up and passed during a lame duck session,” Reis continued. ”Abolishing lame duck sessions will require political leaders to work challenging bills during spring sessions and not count on outgoing lawmakers for passage.”
House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 43 (HJRCA 43) would also prohibit the outgoing General Assembly from convening or acting on legislation unless a special session is convened with the joint approval of the Governor, and each of the four legislative leaders (the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the Minority Leader of the House, and the Minority Leader of the Senate).  The purpose of the session must be specified in the proclamation and action limited to the topic identified.
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