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Friday, April 6, 2012

Op/Ed- Roll call votes, Michigan Constitution, Elected Officials, State Oath of Office and why its' all is important

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A blog and radio show dedicated to fairness for Michiganders in our working, lower and middle classes can be on the cusp of a story that impacts legislative actions.

This is why the following story highlighted on MSNBC's Rachel Maddow Show on April 5th is critically important to nearly each Michigan Statue passed by our Republican Majorities in the state House and Senate and signed into law by no other than Governor Richard Snyder (R).

Michigan's Constitution contains a statue called partially sub-titled as 'Immediate Effect'. The words mean for legislation debated and subsequently passed into law in Michigan, a 2/3rds majority must exist for the bill to take effect immediately.
§ 27 Laws, effective date.
Sec. 27. No act shall take effect until the expiration of 90 days from the end of the session at which it was passed, but the legislature may give immediate effect to acts by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to and serving in each house.
History: Const. 1963, Art. IV, § 27, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964.
Constitutionality: A law proposed by initiative petition which is enacted by the Legislature without change or amendment within forty days of its reception takes effect ninety days after the end of the session in which it was enacted unless two-thirds of the members of each house of the Legislature vote to give it immediate effect. Frey v Department of Management and Budget, 429 Mich 315; 414 NW2d 873 (1987).
A key provision of contained in this statue in Michigan Constitution are the words 'two-thirds' or 67% of total votes of members elected to and serving in a State House and Senate chamber. If a 2/3rd's vote isn't verified for the record, a bill passed into law by elected Representatives in Michigan's House and Senate wouldn't take effect until the 90 days after the end of a Legislative session.

Less take break for a quick math session

As of February 28, 2012, current membership of the Michigan State House of Representatives is as followed- 63 Republicans and 47 Democrats. To have a 2/3rd's vote for 'Immediate Effect' the roll call vote must reflect 73 State House Representatives in affirming legislation.

As of January 12, 2011, current membership of the Michigan State Senate is as followed- 26 Republicans and 12 Democrats. To have a 2/3rd's vote for 'Immediate Effect' roll call vote must reflect 25 State Senators affirming the legislation.

Of 385 bills passed in 2011-12 legislative session, few passed with numbers that would cause the 'Immediate Effect' clause to be enacted.

The Rachel Maddow Show & ROJS Radio uncovers State GOP Legislative & Executive Branch leadership possible violations of Michigan Constitution 

As Rachel Maddow effectively covered on MSNBC Wednesday, April 5th, any bill such as Michigan draconian statue Public Act #4, the law shifting nearly $900 Million dollars away from K-12 Education Rain Day Fund to support K-17 (yes, 13-17 tuition based college education schooling), took away Domestic Partner benefits away from State Employees and children three days after Christmas all passed with the 'Immediate Effect' clause.

Nevertheless, if for some reason it was revealed State House and Senate Republicans didn't have a 2/3rd's vote required by our Michigan Constitution, and Governor Rick Snyder signed over 500 bills to date into law, what would you think? Would such actions be highly questionable at best or warrant a immediate removal from office at worst?

Again this is why recording each State Representative and Senator roll call vote is important. A permanent record, by this action, would be available to verify each bill passed with 'Immediate Effect' cause met or exceeds the 'two-thirds' vote requirement.
§ 18 Journal of proceedings; record of votes, dissents.
Sec. 18. Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and publish the same unless the public security otherwise requires. The record of the vote and name of the members of either house voting on any question shall be entered in the journal at the request of one-fifth of the members present. Any member of either house may dissent from and protest against any act, proceeding or resolution which he deems injurious to any person or the public, and have the reason for his dissent entered in the journal.
History: Const. 1963, Art. IV, § 18, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964.
Former constitution: See Const. 1908, Art. V, § 16.
§ 19 Record of votes on elections and advice and consent.
Sec. 19. All elections in either house or in joint convention and all votes on appointments submitted to the senate for advice and consent shall be published by vote and name in the journal.
On March 17th, ROJS Radio hosts Monica RW & Autumn S interviewed state Representative Maureen Stapleton and inquired about a little covered article on the Michigan House Democrats website March 14th, citing House Republicans blocking reasonable requests for recording roll call votes. ROJS Radio asked Representative Stapleton were the actions taken by House Republicans, against Michigan's Constitution.

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Each elected state official holding a Michigan Governmental office take a 'Oath of Office', as a ceremonial and legal procedure, before serving a term. As a local Park Commissioner appointed to the office in June 2011, I was honored to take part in this important vow to uphold both the U.S. Constitution and Michigan's Constitutional document.

From the Michigan Secretary of State website:
The oath of office is an oral or written statement taken at your county clerk's office when you file your bond. (If you are a Michigan resident, this must be your county of residence.) An oath is a sworn pledge stating the truth about a given statement. In this case, you are taking a pledge that you will uphold the constitution and perform your duties with reasonable care.
Do you solemnly swear that you will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this State, and that you will discharge the duties of the office of (insert elected office position) in and for said (insert what area/location or body of office) to the best of your ability? After an oath is administered, a verification is completed by the clerk (insert clerk designee, State Senate or House leader) attesting that you swore to the statement.
Have Republican State House, Senate leaders, Governor Rick Snyder by passing and signing series of bills into law with evoking 'Immediate Effect' in Michigan Constitution, violated the 'Oath of Office' all of these state officials sworn to uphold? Time will tell if this theory is correct or not but, until this matter is settled in a court of law, we'll end this article with Thursday's segment of 'The Rachel Maddow Show'.

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