Apparently the Senate Republicans just don’t think that Michigan’s unemployed have suffered enough. As introduced today, Senate Bill 806 is yet another blatant attack at Michigan’s unemployed. The bill would make further changes to Michigan’s unemployment insurance and benefits law that would undoubtedly lead to reduced eligibility amongst unemployed workers. In case Michigan’s unemployed aren’t already facing quite enough hardships and fearing for their families’ well-being as it is, the bill introduced by the Republicans today aims to make it even more difficult to receive the aid they so desperately need.
With little options in such a strongly Republican-led Senate, our members exercised their constitutional right to have the bill read out loud, with the intention of forcing Republicans to stare into the face of the reality of this painstaking bill, as opposed to passing it along aimlessly, without a second glance. There is nothing in the Senate rules that technically allows members to introduce a bill without reading it in, a process which sometimes allows members to be all too far removed from the bills. The Senate Democrats hoped that in forcing the Republicans to look more closely at the bill, they might better understand the severity of the results it will undoubtedly have on their unemployed constituents.
Senator Randy Richardville apparently did not like this idea and retaliated with a threat to lay off members of the Senate Democratic Staff – ironic considering the topic at hand. It seems that the Senate Republicans don’t want to come to terms with the content of their proposed bills, afraid that the public might catch on to their ill-conceived plans. Also ironic is the fact that Sen. Richardville’s behavior on the floor would probably qualify as bullying under the bill we just passed – whether he would like to acknowledge it or not.