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Gretchen Whitmer

When Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer first ran for the state’s top office she made a promise to veto any proposed legislation crossing her desk that utilized the deceptive tactic of including an unnecessary appropriation just to block citizens from launching a referendum to overturn a new law, a tactic used on a number of occasions by Republicans as they controlled both chambers, thanks to a provision in the Michigan Constitution that makes budget bills referendum-proof. But the Democrat’s promise fell by the wayside when it came to right-to-work repeal legislation in March that had heavy backing from organized labor. Basically the legislation had banned forced participation in a union  with automatic withdrawal of union dues from worker paychecks. Voters in 2012 had rejected by 58 percent a constitutional amendment that would have outlawed right-to-work in Michigan. The next year,  lawmakers passed right-to-work legislation and it was signed into law by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. GOP lawmakers made sure then that their bill contained an appropriation which prevented citizens from running a referendum on what was then and still remains a controversial political topic. The repeal legislation signed by Whitmer contained a $1 million appropriation. Word on the street in Republican circles is that a conservative challenge in the courts is now being discussed, so the fight is not over.


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