Tuesday, April 08, 2008

House Dems Call Out the Do-Nothing Senate... Again

Time to point out every piece of legislation that the Senate has ignored - today it is the bill that will increase penalties for drive-by shootings. The House passed this with overwhelming bipartisan support over a year ago.

As yet another Michigan family prepares to bury a victim of a drive-by shooting, State Representative Brenda Clack (D-Flint) today blasted state Senate leaders for failing to act on her bipartisan plan to crack down on the individuals who so recklessly endanger our communities by committing these crimes.


Clack's plan would more than double the penalty for any person who intentionally fires a weapon from a vehicle. The House passed Clack's plan on a vote of 109-1 on March 15, 2007, and it has been languishing in the Senate since then. Currently, such an offense is punishable by no more than four years in prison and a $2,000 fine, regardless of the consequences of the act. Clack's plan increases the penalty to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. If the crime results in serious bodily harm to another person, the penalty increases to 15 years and $15,000.

Seems we have a pattern developing. Maybe every Tuesday the House can feature legislation that it has passed that ended up sitting in some Senate committee. Last week, it was the trash bills.

"Nearly one year ago, the House passed its plan to crack down on Canadian and out-of-state trash," Simpson said. "As we fight to bring jobs to our state now, we must also protect our communities. It's time for the Senate to take action on our tough anti-trash plan that bans new landfills and increases the dumping charge. By turning bargain-hunting trash trucks around, we will protect our water, air, roads and quality of life."

The House Democrats continue to aggressively push to pass anti-trash measures in light of a February accident in which trash trucks on their way to Michigan landfills overturned in Ontario. The legislation passed in May 2007 by the House bans new landfills and strictly limits the expansion of existing landfills until 2012.

In March, it was a tax cut on home sales.

House Democrats today called on the Republican-led Senate to pass a plan that will cut taxes for homebuyers and help spur Michigan's languishing home sales market. The plan passed the Michigan House of Representatives on March 14, 2007, with bipartisan support and has been stalled in the Senate for nearly a full year.

The end of February - drug company immunity.

After a year of inaction by the Republican-led Senate, House Democrats today called on the Senate Majority Leader to pass a package of bills that will end the absolute immunity enjoyed by the pharmaceutical industry in Michigan and allow consumers to hold big drug companies accountable when dangerous drugs such as Vioxx harm or kill. The House passed the package on Feb. 22, 2007. The public is urged to sign an online petition demanding Senate action at www.housedems.com.

So forth and so on - important to point out exactly what they have tried to do for the citizens of this state that has met up with Republican obstruction.

Wish they would make a page with the list of bills passed, date passed, and where they currently languish in the Senate.