f you haven’t taken the Indivisible GGR survey and given your feedback on the election experience, please do so at the link below. A randomly chosen member who responds will win a $50 gift card. Please complete the survey by this Friday, December 14th.
This past Friday, court documents filed by federal prosecutors directly implicated Trump in two campaign finance felonies. These crimes related to payments to women he had affairs with and paid off to remain quiet just before the 2016 election. While House Democratic leadership has been keeping talk of impeachment at arm’s length in recent months, pressure may build to start these proceedings in the new year given this news. As the new term and Democratic investigations loom and as Special Counsel Mueller makes public more results of his investigations, Trump is likely to remain irrational and unpredictable.
The debate on a continuing resolution to fund the government, temporarily paused because of the funeral for George H.W. Bush, may heat up this week. Funding for Trump’s border wall is likely to be a flash point. Entitlement spending could also be targeted as this is likely the last shot at these programs for a Congress where Republicans control both houses.
Next Saturday, December 15th is the deadline for signing up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The Trump administration has cut the advertising budget 90% during this open enrollment period and enrollment is lower than expected. Please spread the word to those who may qualify.
State and Local
Several lame duck bills are moving through the state legislature and appear likely to make it to the governor’s desk for signature. These constitute a cynical, naked power grab by Republican legislators and must be resisted. Contact Governor Snyder at the number and email address below and urge him to veto these bills.
Shellie Jeffries continues her great tracking work with the lame-duck bill status update below.
1. Bills waiting for Governor Synder’s signature (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-335-7858):
- SB1171: Guts the minimum wage law.
- SB1175: Guts the part-time worker sick time leave law.
- (New) HB4205: State agencies could not set stricter standards than the federal government.
2. Bills passed in the Senate and awaiting House action:
- SB1022: Allow senators who earlier ran for the House to transfer surplus funds from their Senate campaign committees to their House committees.
- SB1176: Makes some election donations — the millions that came from nonprofit political advocacy groups — harder to trace.
- SB1188-1194: Prohibit local governments from adopting or enforcing ordinances or charters “prohibiting or restricting the removal of trees or other vegetation.” The concern is that the bills remove important land-use provisions from local officials, planners, and developers.
- SB1197: Allow a tunnel to be built under the Straits of Mackinac to transport Canadian (Enbridge) oil (has strong support of Gov. Snyder)
- SB1211: Reduce protection of wetlands
- SB1238-1240 (Prop 3): Require a declaration of U.S. citizenship on driver’s licenses and state IDs before a person could automatically be registered to vote and also allow a person to opt out of registering to vote when they got state identifications or driver’s licenses. And, while the proposal allows people to register to vote up until the day of the election, the bill limits the ability to register to 14 days before an election.
- (New)SB1244: Limits the state’s ability to use the most current science when deciding how much clean up a toxic site requires.
- SB1250-52: Shift oversight of campaign finance law from the secretary of state to a six-person commission appointed by the governor, diluting the Secretary of State’s powers and authority
- SB1254 (Prop 2): Define how party affiliation is determined and fine people who wanted to become one of the 13 members of the redistricting commission up to $500 if they mischaracterize their political affiliation. The concern is that given the volatile nature of the lame-duck Legislature, a relatively benign bill will morph into something more onerous.
3. Bills out of committee, waiting for a full vote (at any time):
- SB1198: Permanently ban physicians from prescribing the two-step abortion pills during telemedicine sessions.
4. Bills passed in the House and awaiting Senate action:
- HB6553: Let the legislature intervene in legal proceedings when the state is a party (thus undermining the role and power of the state Attorney General and Governor)
5. Bills introduced and sent to committee:
- HB6532-36: Eliminate Michigan’s bottle return law (which would benefit one of the sponsors of the bills)
MEETINGS/TRAINING (Thanks to Linda Kristensen and Shellie Jeffries for this information.)
MONDAY – December 10
- Michigan League of Conservation Voters Phone Bank Days, 5pm-7pm, 400 Ann St NW, Ste 206, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
- Breakfast with Legislators, 7:30 – 9 am, Hope Network, 3075 Orchard Vista Dr. SE, Grand Rapids MI 49546
TUESDAY – December 11
- Michigan League of Conservation Voters Phone Bank Days, 1 – 4 pm, 400 Ann St NW, Ste 206, Grand Rapids, MI 49504
WEDNESDAY – December 12
- Kent County Dems Meeting, 7 – 8:30 pm, American Postal Workers Union, 2554 Burlingame SW, Wyoming, MI 49509
- Fight for our Families, 12-4 PM, Michigan State Capitol, 110 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing MI 48933
- RedforEd Lame Duck Vigil, 5:30 pm, Lansing Capitol Building, 100 N. Capitol Ave, Lansing MI 48933
THURSDAY – December 13
- Justice for Our Neighbors, 12 – 1 pm, Grand Rapids Pride Center, 343 Atlas SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506
FRIDAY – December 14
- Stand-Up to BCBS: No Health Insurance, 12:30 – 2 pm, State Capitol – Lansing, 232 S. Capitol Avenue, Lansing, MI 48933
SATURDAY – December 15
- no events scheduled
SUNDAY – December 16
- no events scheduled
On the Horizon
- Congressman Bill Huizenga Accountability Rally – January 3
- Women’s March Grand Rapids – January 19
- Grand Rapids Whitmer Winter Warm-Up – January 26