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From Chairperson Barnes
It is at risk. The continuing attacks on the integrity of our elections is a symptom of a more widespread attack by Republicans on the greatest democracy in history.
- Republicans in two states have attempted to banish members of their state legislatures because they didn’t agree with the members’ political positions on two important issues: gun safety and civil rights for all Americans.
- In Florida, the Republican governor and legislature are using the power of government to punish Disney Corporation for opposing the state’s anti-LGBTQ laws … echoing an attack used 2 years ago against cruise-ship companies that enforced COVID safety measures.
- Florida has also taken away the right to vote from more than 1-million former prison inmates despite a statewide vote restoring those rights.
- Just about every Republican state has used the excuse of non-existent election fraud to make it more difficult to vote. The Brennan Center for Justice reports that in 2023 alone state lawmakers in at least 32 states pre-filed or introduced 150 restrictive voting bills… bills which contain one or more provisions that would make it harder for eligible Americans to register, stay on the voter rolls, or vote as compared to existing state law.
- Extreme gerrymandering across the nation is distorting democracy beyond recognition, guaranteeing one-party stays in power regardless of voter preferences.
- Ohio is enacting legislation to make it virtually impossible for citizen-led petition drives to put new laws or constitutional amendments on the ballot.
Michigan is increasingly becoming a beacon of democracy for the nation. In 2018 and 2022 citizen-led petition drives brought major reforms ending gerrymandering and expanding voter rights. Now, with the new Democratic majorities in the Legislature working hand-in-glove with Governor Whitmer, our democracy is being strengthened even more.
Joining us this week: Senator Sarah Anthony discussing one of those efforts: her bill to expand the rights of ethnic minorities to reflect their heritage and culture in a small-but-important way: through their personal appearance.
The daughter of UAW retirees and the first Black woman to serve as state representative in Lansing’s history, Senator Anthony is a champion of working families and marginalized communities. She is the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee and is serving her first term in the Michigan Senate.
As Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, she earned a reputation as a pragmatic, effective legislator in the Michigan House of Representatives, where she passed multiple bills into law with substantial bipartisan and stakeholder support. She continues to fight to strengthen education, expand health care, reform Michigan’s criminal justice system and improve the economy for small businesses.
Senator Anthony was born and raised in Lansing’s south side. She has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and earned a master’s degree from Western Michigan University.
Stories in the News This Week
Michigan Politics and Policy
- CROWN Act (SB 90)
- Michigan Senate passes sexual assault reform six years after Larry Nassar conviction – Bridge Michigan
- Gov. Whitmer Signs Legislation Expanding Absentee Voting for Michigan Service Members Overseas
- Whitmer announces $400 million clean hydrogen plant for Michigan – Detroit Free Press
- Michigan poised to ban employers from firing workers for having abortions – Bridge Michigan
- Michigan House OKs ban on holding phones; violators face fines of $100 and up | Bridge Michigan
- AG Nessel Joins Multistate Coalition Opposing Restrictions to Title X Family Planning Program
- Ottawa County Sanctioned by Third Circuit Court for Encumbering Opioid Settlement
- Michigan’s US Senate race: Where is big Republican candidate? – Lansing State Journal
New York Stock Exchange exec mulling Michigan Senate bid – POLITICO
- Republicans propose ‘constitutional carry’ bills after MSU shooting – Detroit News
- Better IRS service is forcing an earlier debt deadline – POLITICO
- UAW demands Biden support ‘top wages’ for EV workers before endorsing
- Biden rejects GOP spending cuts, warns of catastrophic government default – The Washington Post
- Problem Solvers Caucus Debt Ceiling Outline
- Voter Not Politicians Executive Director Nancy Wang on Campaign Finance Reform – A Republic, If You Can Keep It podcast
- 2023 Voters Not Politicians Ethics Reform Policy Summary
- Timeline of Clarence Thomas, Ginni Thomas, Harlan Crow and ethics issues – The Washington Post
- Leonard Leo directed fees to Clarence Thomas’s wife, urged ‘no mention of Ginni’ – The Washington Post
- Clarence Thomas Raised Him, Harlan Crow Paid His Tuition – ProPublica
- Emails Reveal ‘Jaw-Dropping’ Herschel Walker Money Scandal – Daily Beast
- ‘Red flags’ surround $25M health campus pushed by ex-Michigan House speaker Jason Wentworth – Bridge Michigan
- Insider: Ex-House Dem leader says money’s influence in politics is ‘eroding trust’ – Detroit News
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis uses Florida Department of Law Enforcement on political agenda – The Washington Post
GOP War on Freedom
- Michigan Library Association Poll on Book Banning
- Florida lawmakers restrict pronouns and tackle book objections in sweeping education bill – POLITICO
- Florida legislature passes anti-trans bathroom bill – The Washington Post
- North Carolina Republicans unveil 12-week abortion ban – The Washington Post
- Zooey Zephyr row spotlights rise of GOP far-right caucuses – AP News
- Opinion | Republicans Are Running Wild in My State – Frank Bruni in The New York Times
- Florida Republicans pass bills on pronoun usage at schools, ban on diversity programs – AP NewsIowa bill reducing child labor protections to be signed by governor – The Washington Post
- Indiana governor signs transgender school pronoun bill