LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Dan Lauwers, R-Brockway Township, issued the following statement after Democratic leadership in the Senate removed him from committee assignments in retaliation for Republicans using long-standing parliamentary rules to delay action on legislation designed to stop an automatic income tax cut from going into effect:
“This unconstitutional legislation lumps numerous legislative efforts, along with over $1 billion in corporate welfare, into one single bill that picks and chooses who will receive tax relief out of a pot of money that all Michigan taxpayers paid into. Worse yet, it includes retroactive spending in a purposeful effort to eliminate an income tax rollback for all taxpayers.
“I said from the beginning, I will fight any attempt to circumvent the 2015 state law that requires an income tax rate reduction when revenues outpace inflation, but Democrats have gone above and beyond to make sure this rate reduction doesn’t take effect. I can’t imagine so brazenly fighting against letting people keep more of the money they work for.
“The Democratic-controlled Senate attempted to rush this bill through, and as promised, my colleagues and I fought to stop it.
“Sen. Joseph Bellino and I used proper, accepted parliamentary procedures to postpone the vote in an effort to hold further discourse on such an important piece of legislation that could impact so many people.
“The same procedures were used last term by Democratic Sen. Stephanie Chang, and by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer during her time as a senator. Under the previous Republican majorities, neither Sen. Chang nor then-Sen. Whitmer faced this disproportional punishment for their actions. They were granted the courtesy of being able to voice concerns from their districts on their respective committee assignments.
“This term, however, it’s a violation punishable by removing Sen. Bellino and I from committee assignments and, in turn, removing adequate representation for constituents from both of our districts during the legislative process.
“The hypocrisy is both very real and very disappointing, but should not surprise anyone.
“This bill was rushed through without any hearings and with no transparency. Democrats and Gov. Whitmer continue to govern like they did during COVID. The governor made residents stay home and closed businesses, while she was able to go to bars and fly to Florida. Even worse — two Democratic members were recently allowed to travel to Lansing and cast votes despite testing positive for COVID-19. Businesses couldn’t open, people couldn’t work to feed their families, but the Democrats can pass agenda-driven bills and put the entire Capitol at risk doing so.
“This is yet another demonstration in a long list of Democratic hypocrisy and ‘rules for thee but not for me.’
“Removing an elected official’s voice for fighting for what they believe in and because you don’t like the way they used the agreed upon rules is an abhorrent abuse of power and is an affront to the history and dignity of this legislative body. Despite this overexaggerated and shameful response, I remain dedicated to fighting for the people of my district and for the future of this state.”