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Procedural move blocks snow day forgiveness bill

Snowshoeing in northern Michigan
Emma Winowiecki
Michigan Radio

Michigan students may not get any additional snow days forgiven this year.

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill on Tuesday that would have forgiven four state declared emergency snow days. But after that vote, several Democrats voted to not give the bill immediate effect. It’s a procedural move which renders the bill useless because it would not take effect until well after the school year has ended.

“My partners on the other side of the aisle decided that unions are more important than kids,” said Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake). “We were doing our best to give schools as much advance notice as possible so they could plan. And they chose to leave immediate effect off, and so that leaves the schools uncertain.”

But Democrats say they want assurances that hourly workers will be paid for the forgiven days.

“We don’t think it’s ready for primetime yet, so we didn’t give it immediate effect,” said Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint). “So we can have chances to make fixes and continue to negotiate.”

The House could make changes to the bill and send it back to the Senate for another vote on whether to give the bill immediate effect. But Republicans in the House say it’s unlikely they’ll come to a consensus before the end of the school year.

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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