LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - Michigan Democrats aren't waiting around in their legislative push as the next session of lawmaking begins.
Repealing the retirement tax, beefing up the Earned Income Tax Credit, restoring the wage and labor laws, and getting rid of the state's 1931 abortion ban are among the larger agenda pushes by both senators and representatives.
The bills, which were announced Wednesday will be formally introduced Thursday.
Questions swirled for weeks over how state Democrats would approach their biggest legislative priorities, with many wondering what laws to introduce and how quickly they should do it. While some potential lawmaking won't invite much controversy, others could spur major pushback from Republicans.
But according to a release from Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) and Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), Democrats are full steam ahead.
Among the priorities of Democrats is the state's Right to Work law.
Going into effect in 2013 under former Gov. Rick Snyder, it prohibited unions and other labor groups from requiring private or public employees to pay dues as a condition of obtaining employment. Under the law, employees who opt-out of unions are still given the same benefits as members within a union.
The bill has been a source of chagrin for Democrats who have longed to repeal the bill.
Both Tate and Brinks said the party was "committed to supporting Michigan families" and the latest push is to "make good on our promise to advance the priorities of the people is made clear with the introduction of these first bills of the session."
"These initial bills represent our collective commitment to expanding rights and opportunities for the people of Michigan," Brinks said. "Our first and only order of business is to tackle the real challenges that folks are facing by implementing an agenda that makes Michigan an even better place to call home."
Here is a breakdown of the bills that will be introduced on Jan. 12:
- Repeal the retirement tax on Michigan seniors
- Increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit
- Expand Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include anti-discrimination protections for sexual and gender identity
- Restore the state’s prevailing wage law
- Restore workers’ rights by repealing the so-called "Right to Work" policy
- Repeal Michigan’s 1931 statute that criminalizes abortion care