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Legislature returns to Capitol with plans to deal with guns, budget

Brian Charles Watson

The Michigan Legislature resumes its session Tuesday following a two-week spring recess.

The Democratic majorities in the House and Senate intend to start out by celebrating their victories following a consequential first three months. They used their new-found control over state government – the first time in 40 years – to repeal the state’s right-to-work law and Michigan’s statutory abortion ban.

Also, the Legislature expanded the state earned income tax credit for lower-income working families and voted to include LGBTQ protections in the state’s civil rights law. The Legislature also adopted firearm safety bills, including safe storage requirements and universal background checks. Whitmer is expected to approve those bills this week.

“I look forward to signing these into law so we can keep families and communities safe,” she said in a video released by her office to laud the first 100 days of the new Democratic majority.

The spring to-do list for Democrats includes sending Whitmer the final bill in that package that would allow families to seek a court order to seize guns from someone deemed an extreme risk. There’s legislation which has already cleared the House to end the state’s A-F grading system for evaluating school performance.

The Legislature’s appropriations subcommittees will also have to make progress on budget bills to get them to Whitmer in time to get them signed before the new fiscal year begins October 1.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network.