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House Dems Seek to Abolish Capitol Commission

Sep 25, 2020

A package of legislation was introduced this week by members of the House Democratic Caucus abolishing the Michigan Capitol Commission. Their plan would transfer the authority from the Commission to the Legislative Council, a bipartisan, bicameral body of legislators. Members on the Council are appointed by the Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader, who both appoint six members, with at least two from the minority party.

The legislation is in response to what caucus members see as the Commission’s lack of movement on deciding whether to ban firearms in the State Capitol. The debate over allowing firearms inside the Capitol has been ongoing for years and has become more hotly contested recently. In May, Attorney General Dana Nessel sent a letter to the Commission stating they have the legal authority to ban firearms in the Capitol after some had called that authority into question.

The legislation as introduced would:

    • Return the Michigan State Capitol Historical Site under the exclusive control of the Legislative Council.
    • Grant the Legislative Council administrative power over the functions cited in the State Capitol Historic Society founding documents.
    • Change management and operation of the State Capitol Building and grounds to the Legislative Council.
    • Change responsibility of veteran recognitions to the Legislative Council.
    • Change responsibility for producing an annual report on Capitol Building maintenance and project costs to the Legislative Council.

The bill package has been referred to the House Government Operations Committee for consideration.

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