I’ve had the honor of serving the people of Michigan in our state’s Capitol for the past 12 years, yet never have I been more disgusted by what I’ve seen take place there than what I saw this past Thursday.
Governor Snyder has spent the past two years telling us that so-called Right to Work legislation wasn’t on his agenda. He told us it was a “very divisive issue” and one that he didn’t think was appropriate for Michigan. He promised us he would be a moderate voice that would stand up for Michigan’s workers.
At 11am on Thursday morning, Governor Snyder joined Republican legislators at a press conference to announce he had gone back on his word and would encourage the legislature to immediately pass Right to Work legislation so that he could sign it into law. Cowards, they did it locked away in the Romney building so they could hide from the thousands of workers gathered at the Capitol. And when I crashed his event so that I could ask him “why?” on behalf of those he was betraying, I was shut down and escorted out as well.
Just hours after the Governor revealed his true colors to the people of Michigan, the Senate moved this terrible legislation without any opportunity for us legislators, much less the public, to read the bills or examine their impact. As the public outcry grew louder throughout the day, the Governor took the unprecedented and disgraceful step to illegally lock down our State Capitol, denying the public an opportunity to even see what was happening inside the Senate chambers.
In the end, despite loud protests from Democratic lawmakers, the Governor got what he wanted as Republicans passed this disastrous anti-worker agenda. What they did was wrong. The way they did it was repugnant.
But this fight is far from over.
On Tuesday, Republicans will reconvene at the Capitol to finalize this ghastly legislation and I hope that you are there to help us tell them just how wrong they are. If they keep ignoring the will of the people, then we need to commit to change in 2014.
We need to begin the fight today to take back the Governor’s office and the State Senate and House so that the PEOPLE have a voice in our Government again.
Sign up online at gretchenwhitmer.com to commit to being a part of that change and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Tell them about how the Republican plan is bad for all of us. This isn’t a fight about unions, it’s about people. It’s about our nurses, our teachers, our social workers and the countless others that help make Michigan great.
I’m ready to fight and I hope you’ll be right by my side on Tuesday and beyond as we reclaim our Capitol for the people whose voices the Governor tried to silence.
Michigan Senate Democratic Leader