Saturday, December 16, 2006

Making Progress

While I'm not happy with the job that Congress is doing, I have to say that the Michigan legislature is doing a pretty decent job. Outside the limelight, they continue to pass good legislation.

The legislature passed bills to prohibit gun confiscation during emergencies, as happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The bills passed the legislature with only one dissenting vote. From the National Rifle Association:

Fairfax, VA - Michigan’s State Legislature has passed a two-bill package backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA) to create the state’s “Emergency Powers Protection Act” (HB 6363 and HB 6364). The new laws prevent local governments from confiscating lawfully owned firearms during a declared state of emergency, as witnessed in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.

“Law-abiding Michiganders have won a significant victory in the State Legislature,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. “The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina confirmed a fear long-held by American gun owners: the day government bureaucrats declare our Second Amendment null and void, leaving law-abiding citizens defenseless in the midst of chaos and lawlessness.

“We promised then to take measures to ensure that the Second Amendment is not another casualty during a declared emergency and we are proud to have delivered on that promise.”
Meanwhile, the legislature also passed bills restricting illegal immigration. From MIRS, via Saul:

Illegals Banned From Loans Under Bills

Illegal immigrants would be banned from taking out public housing loans or receiving financial assistance for college under a package of bills that moved to the governor's desk today.

The flagship bill, HB 5300, the House approved today says only U.S. citizens or those in the United States legally could qualify for help from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSDHA). Other bills make the same conditions apply to winning the Merit Scholarship, nursing scholarships and other higher education-based awards.

HB 5300 passed, 79-27. Support for most of the rest of the bills was in the low 80s. Opposition remained in the low 20s. Rep. Steve TOBOCMAN (D-Detroit) urged members to oppose the legislation on the basis that it needs more work.

"This would prevent people who are in the United States legally, but temporarily not citizens from buying homes and paying taxes in Michigan," Tobocman said.

Rep. Bob GOSSELIN (R-Troy), the primary sponsor of the package, told House members the legislation passed by "about 97-3" initially, but they were being asked to vote a second time because the Senate broke one of the tie bars.

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