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Protesters speak out against lame duck

Posted at 9:49 AM, Dec 04, 2018

Protests were happening outside the Michigan Chamber of Commerce in Lansing on Monday.

Demonstrators gathered to oppose the Chamber's role in the lame duck session happening right now in the legislature.

FOX 47's Barrett Tryon has more on this protest from the newsroom.

Protesters say the chamber is using the lame duck session to advance policies that support corporations and hurt working families.

They say prime examples of that are the attempt to roll back the minimum wage increase and paid sick leave proposals, which were adopted by the legislature to keep them off the November ballot.

"These proposals were widely supported by the public and gave critical raises in wages and benefits to working families, and the chamber has been heavily involved in trying to undercut and gut these policies," said Sam Inglot, deputy communications director for Progress MI.

Organizers of the protest say the lame duck session is a broken system, filled with closed-door deals by lawmakers who will not be in office come January.

Until coming up with a long-term solution, they are calling on legislators to go home for the rest of the year.

The Chamber of Commerce disagrees.

A spokesman tells FOX 47 that the paid sick leave and minimum wage bills are being amended to be fair and balanced for the business community.

They also believe the lame duck session is important for the state.

"I don't get a month off to stop working because we have a new governor coming up on January first. I think it's important, we think it's important that they continue to work. There's a lot that still needs to be done," said John Zimmerman, communications executive for the Chamber of Commerce.

The changes to the paid sick and minimum wage proposals were passed by the Republican-controlled Senate last week.

We will let you know when the House votes.