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Political roundup: Energy bill survives lame duck, wolf hunting bill defies voters

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Capitol Building, Lansing, MI

The lame duck session for the Michigan Legislature has come to a close. Some people have called the end-of-year session "strange," but you can't say it was boring. There were a number of bills pushed through before lawmakers headed home for the holidays.

Now that the dust has settled, Susan Demaspublisher of Inside Michigan Politics, and Ken Sikkema, senior policy fellow at Public Sector Consultants, joined Stateside for their weekly political roundup to break it all down.

While several controversial proposals were tabled during the last few weeks, the biggest bill that came through on the last day was a new energy bill for the state. The end product will be more choice in the market and increased renewable energy mandates. Sikkema said the bill has received "widespread praise" by making people on both sides of the aisle relatively happy.

While the energy bill passed, wolf hunting created some controversy.  Twice voters have shut down efforts to legalize wolf hunting in the state, yet, in the lame duck session, lawmakers passed a bill to legalize it. On top of that, they passed the bill with a provision that makes it so that voters cannot challenge the law.

"Obviously this is a big priority for Republicans in the Legislature," said Demas. "Regardless of how the public has stated its opinion, this is something the Legislature is willing to go to the mat for."

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about the Indigent Defense Commission being re-established, and what issues lawmakers could take up next year when they get back from vacation.

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Stateside is produced daily by a dedicated group of producers and production assistants. Listen daily, on-air, at 3 and 8 p.m., or subscribe to the daily podcast wherever you like to listen.
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