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Unprecedented changes in the Michigan Senate

In order to balance the budget and revitalize our economy, Michigan’s tax laws were updated in 2015 and included a provision to allow for a permanent reduction in the income tax rate should state revenues grow beyond the rate of inflation. This tax cut was set to take effect this year. However, Democrats in the House recently passed legislation to replace your tax cut with a limited $0.50/day tax rebate for one year and more than a billion dollars in handouts to giant, multi-national corporations. They did so by the slimmest of margins, locking members in the chamber and forcing them to remain seated while suppressing any and all debate on the legislation. This bill then moved onto the Senate where Republicans swiftly worked to delay the vote so that we could take a step back and work through a more transparent process.

In an entirely unprecedented turn of events, Democrats responded by changing several rules in the Senate (an institution that has been around for nearly two centuries) without debate, without negotiation, and without even the slightest notice given to Republicans. Not only were rules changed, but several Republican members were stripped from their committee assignments as punishment for simply trying to facilitate an open, transparent discussion on such a consequential vote. It is incredibly disheartening to see such disrespectful actions taking place in the Michigan Capitol—actions that are not only disrespectful to the legislators and their constituents on both sides of the aisle, but also disrespectful to the institution that is the Michigan Legislature. Democrats can and must do better in their positions of leadership.

Should you have any questions or concerns about the legislature or state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office by going to www.SenatorAricNesbitt.com. You may also reach out toll-free by calling (855) 347-8020. My staff would be happy to assist with issues you may be having with state government agencies, and I look forward to listening and learning about your priorities and concerns for our state.

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