It must be an election year

Gov. Snyder spent the last several days signing--and, surprisingly, vetoing--legislation that supposedly helps Michigan's middle class and voters. But remember--this is an election year.

Snyder hasn't vetoed many of the bills his Republican legislators have proposed, but he exercised his veto power over three bills in an election package (SB 751-754, 803, 823-825 and HB 4656, 5058-5059, 5061-5062, and 5297).

He vetoed SB 754 which would have required people, companies and organization involved in voter registration to be trained by the state. Snyder also vetoed HB 5061 and SB 803, which would have required voters to confirm their U.S. citizenship before voting and would have required voters to present a photo ID to get an absentee ballot at a city office.

All of the bills were endorsed by the Secretary of State in the name of protecting the election process. But what all of the bills tried to do is mimic a national trend of voter suppression in an election year.

On a different subject, House Republicans are patting themselves on the back for legislation that cuts income taxes. Gov. Snyder recently signed two bills that go into effect Oct. 1--HB 5699 lowers the income tax rate to 4.25 percent and HB 5700 increases personal tax exemptions to $3,950 with an increase to $4,000 by Jan. 1, 2014. This still doesn't make up for the tax on senior pensions and the elimination of tax credits for low income families. Conveniently, the new law perfectly fits the timeline for legislators back home campaigning.

Snyder dealt one last blow to unions before the break when he signed PA 238 into law making it illegal for any government-mandated project labor agreement (PLA) to reject bids based on whether the workers are union or not. PA 238--the Michigan Fair and Open Competition Act--allows contractors to enter into a PLA only on a voluntary basis.  Sen. Moolenar (R-Midland), sponsor of the legislation, claims the law was needed to defend "taxpayers against special interest handouts that eliminate competition when public money is at stake."