Lawmaker believes wrap-up sessions hinder thoughtful legislative process
State Rep. Joel Johnson today will introduce legislation that asks Michigan citizens to do away with the Legislature’s lame duck sessions, the time between an election and the start of a new term.
“I believe that lame duck sessions can at times result in sloppy and rushed policy,” said Rep. Johnson, R-Clare. “This has led to last-minute deals on bill packages and flawed policy that afterward needs ‘fix-it’ bills.”
If approved by the Legislature, the measure would allow statewide voters to decide on a constitutional amendment in 2016 to eliminate the lame duck session.
The amendment requires that session adjourn on the Friday before the November Election Day of even-numbered years.
Rep. Johnson believes that regardless of the party in power, the lame duck session process damages efforts to proceed in a deliberate and thoughtful way on important legislation, and also leads to understandable cynicism from voters.
“Our constituents expect us to make the tough decisions in a transparent and thoughtful way,” Johnson said. “Late-night sessions and last-minute votes without a thorough committee process damages the credibility of the Legislature, because the political will or consensus is present on legislation or it’s not.”
“The oft-used tactic of ‘waiting for lame duck’ must come to an end.”
Rep. Johnson can be contacted by phone at (517) 373-8962 or by email at JoelJohnson@house.mi.gov.