LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – There are strong indications tonight that despite opposition from local officials, the governor will sign legislation that some officials claim amounts to a gag order on their ability to discuss local funding proposals.
A group of local officials are putting a full court press on the governor to veto this legislation that they claim will prevent them, 60 days before an election, from discussing with the public the content of local funding proposals.
Superintendent of Lansing School District Yvonne Caamal Canul said “Senate Bill 571 would limit our access to our constituents in a way to which no other private or political entity is subjected.”
Despite the call for the governor to veto the measure, unless there is an 11th hour change of heart, the governor is prepared to sign it.
“I think unfortunately in this case, the governor is a wimp,” Lansing Democratic senator Curtis Hertel, Jr thinks lawmakers should start over on the bill. “I think its really disturbing hat the governor would sign this bill. For all the talk about transparency this legislature has none on this issue and the governor should respect that and veto the bill and start over again.”
On the last day of session last month, a 12-page bill was expanded to a 50-page bill and now some GOP House members are complaining they were unaware of the 60-day ban on public officials discussing these issues.
GOP Senator Rick Jones, who voted no on the bill, thinks officials should have that right. “I do think that people should be able to speak their minds about it. If you call your local superintendent and ask about the ballot issue he should be able to explain it.”
Mr. Jones adds that he thinks the bill needs to be cleaned up and he’d be happy to sponsor legislation to do that.
The governor could sign the bill and ask lawmakers to do that and some say they would.