Michigan House Republicans
Rep. Friske condemns Lansing Democrats for unconstitutional leadership and immoral governing
RELEASE|February 16, 2023
Contact: Neil Friske

State Rep. Neil Friske, R-Charlevoix, stated the following regarding his first month in Lansing:

I believe it is very important that I share with all of you some of the unconstitutional mischief that has been occurring in Lansing ever since Democrats took control of our State House at the beginning of the year. It is a tragedy and shame that our sacred chamber is being so easily dragged through the mud.

First off, it is no secret that I am firmly against corporate welfare – the mass handouts of taxpayer dollars to undeserving large companies. The bigger issue, however, is that Democrats have blatantly ignored imperative House rules, and our own state Constitution. According to Article IV Section 30 of the Michigan Constitution:

“§ 30 Appropriations; local or private purposes. Sec. 30. ‘The assent of two-thirds of the members elected to and serving in each house of the legislature shall be required for the appropriation of public money or property for local or private purposes.’”

Since taking power in January, the Democrats have already voted to disperse billions of dollars to private companies, with much of the money being unsupervised or unaccounted for after it is launched into the void. They have done this with simple majority vote, circumventing Michigan’s Constitution, and the standing rules of the House of Representatives. The writing in our House rules and state Constitution is very clear. Their blatant disregard for these documents and our sacred body of laws is near-treasonous.

Republicans have tried relentlessly to object many of the rules that Lansing Democrats have broken, and our voices have been actively silenced. Notably, last week, my good friend and colleague Rep. Angela Rigas, of Caledonia, was denied her ‘point of order’ to speak, and had her microphone turned off as the Democrats wrongfully rammed through a corporate welfare bill that they purposely gave Republicans little to no opportunity to mull over. What is the point of having a Legislature if one side isn’t allowed to speak, or voice dissent? What has happened to the values of the Republic on which we were founded?

It needs to be mentioned too, that we have a committee process for a reason. Bills are meant to be dissected in front of the public via committee so that the content of bills can be deliberated on, and changed in front of citizens for accountability and transparency. Every single new bill that the Democrats have run on the House Floor this term has been discharged without going through the committee process. They’re making a concerted effort to conceal their reckless spending and hypocritical ideology from the public. The discharge process is supposed to be rare and reserved for emergencies, used when both parties agree to the discharge. Instead, the Democrats are abusing their power by trying to silence their opposition. Republicans have at times attempted to call for a ‘record roll-call vote,’ which has been unfairly and illegitimately shut down by the Democrats. Despite Republicans making up just under one-half of the entire body of the House, and only one-fifth of all House members being needed to demand a roll-call vote, the Democrats are blatantly ignoring their own House rules and the Michigan Constitution in order to suppress any opposition to their regime. As clearly stated in the Michigan House rules:

“A roll call of the House may be demanded by one-fifth of the Members present (see Const 1963, Art 4 § 18) on any pending question and in such case the record of the votes and names of the voting Members shall be entered in the House Journal”

The blatant disregard for Michigan’s laws, the House rules, and our state Constitution by those in power should be concerning to all Michiganders. Our government must be transparent and serve the people. We cannot allow our government to descend into tyranny for the benefit of a few. I will continue to fight for liberty and accountability on behalf of all of my constituents, regardless of political leaning.

Rep. Friske, R-Charlevoix, serves the 107th House District, which includes Charlevoix and Emmet counties, as well as parts of Cheboygan, Chippewa, and Mackinac counties.

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