Keeping a Procedural Promise
one of their promises they made when they swiped control of the house
last November even though the temptation to do it is off the charts.
This is a tad convoluted but read on.
Before a bill becomes law, the house, with a two thirds vote, can
give the measure what they call immediate effect e.g. it becomes law
the moment the governor signs it. Without, I.E. the new law has to
wait until 90 days after the legislature adjourns at the end of year.
So I.E. is a big deal but rather than hold a formal vote to see if
two thirds of the membership favors it, the tradition has been to "fast
gavel" the I.E. motion.
It goes like this: All those in favor of immediate effect say
aye..all those opposed say nay and without adding up the votes, the
speaker than declares, "Immediate effect is ordered."
It's rather anti-democracy but when one party controls the house
this option is often used that is until the R's came in. They promised
not to fast gavel anything even though it is the politically expedient
thing to do.
And there's a hot button issue to end state health care benefits
for live-in and non-married partners of state employees that is on hold
because of that pledge.
Rep. Chuck Moss (R-Oakland County) calls it the "shack-up bill."
The problem is there are not enough R's to give the thing I.E.
and so far only four Democrats are willing to vote for it.
The temptation to fast gavel this one is enormous but here's
where the credit comes in, whether you like the measure or not, the R's
promised not to subvert the voting process and they are not.
They get style points for that, but so far the benefits continue
to flow which drives the R's bonkers.