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Favored legislation of Lieutenant Governor making progress during lame duck

Washtenaw County voters approved a millage for special education in yesterday's election.
Washtenaw County voters approved a millage for special education in yesterday's election.

Legislation important to Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley is making its way through the legislature.

A package of bills banning the methods of restraint and seclusion on special education students in schools except in cases of emergency has passed through the state House.

Calley, who went on a special education listening tour across Michigan, said the passage is an example of the legislature giving a voice to people who don’t have one.

“It’s long overdue that we have some standards in schools with respect to how restraint and seclusion are used,” he said.

Calley said the practices are outdated and, “Community mental health, along with even our prison and jail system have left these practices behind.”

Critics of the legislation are concerned that it would limit parental choice to discipline. Not so, said Calley.

“What this does is it sets some minimum standards with respect to the sorts of things that would be illegal in a household, illegal in a prison, illegal in a hospital, would now be illegal in the schools,” he said.

The bills would also increase reporting requirements for schools when seclusion and restraint methods are used.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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