Lame Duck Session


What is lame duck? The lame duck session is when the state legislature meets to pass laws after the election but before newly elected people take office at the beginning of 2019. Over the past several years lame duck has been destructive.

For example, in 2012 voters across Michigan went to the ballot box and repealed the Emergency Management law. During lame duck, the legislature simply tweaked the original law and repassed it. It didn't matter that voters had rejected the undemocratic law at the ballot box. It was back on the books causing incredible destruction in our state, leading directly to the Flint water crisis. They also used lame duck that year to pass right-to-work legislation, a massive attack on workers' rights and labor unions. Lame duck has been used as a sneak attack to pass harmful policies in a condensed timeline with little transparency. 

What's at stake now? In September, the state legislature passed One Fair Wage (increasing the minimum wage) and Time to Care (access to earned paid sick time), in order to keep the two ballot initiatives off of the ballot with plans to gut the laws during lame duck. We also know that they will likely be attacking voting rights, reproductive health care, our environment, and public employee retirement. We won't know what specific policies they will move until after the election, so we have to be ready to act. 

What can we do? The legislature acts with impunity because they don't think our communities are paying attention. At the Idlewild Convening, we had a historic gathering of people across race, identity, and region that are willing to have each other's backs. We have an opportunity to act in solidarity with each other across the state and make sure our elected officials know that our communities are watching. Here’s some actions you can take:

  •  Call your representative: Call (517) 373-6339 and provide your address to be connected to your elected official.

  • Ask them: “What are you planning to do during lame duck? Are you planning to take away the newly increased minimum wage and earned paid sick time benefits from our families and neighbors during lame duck?”

  • Sign up here to take action.