Courser's and Gamrat's 'Orphan Bills'
Bills abandoned by the two former legislators
Following a tawdry marital infidelity and cover-up scandal that has dominated state Capitol headlines since early August, freshman state Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R-Plainwell) was expelled from the House of Representatives on Sept. 11, 2015. Rep. Todd Courser (R-Lapeer) stayed “one step ahead of the sheriff” by resigning moments before a House vote that would have expelled him too (roll call vote here, text of expulsion resolution here).
When a legislator is expelled, the bills he or she introduced in that session can still be taken up and passed by the legislature. For reputational and human-nature reasons this is unlikely, however. Specifically, other politicians are hesitant to associate their names with a disgraced former member by championing one of his or her bills, and committee chairs are unlikely to take up and advance the bills for the same reason.
Therefore, legislation introduced by Courser and Gamrat have become orphan bills, or perhaps zombie bills — not dead but not likely to show any signs of life, either. This may be the most substantive outcome of the forced departure of the two legislators.
Below are the newly orphaned measures, listed with their MichiganVotes.org taglines. Click on a bill to see its concise MichiganVotes description. You can also review Courser's and Gamrat’s complete voting record here and here, respectively.
12 Bills Introduced by Rep. Todd Courser (R)
- House Joint Resolution Z: Ban Obamacare exchange
- House Bills 4731, 4732 and 4733: Repeal marriage license requirement, and marriages performed by government officials
- House Bill 4380: Eliminate straight-ticket ballot option
- House Bills 4339 and 4340: Repeal pistol purchase permit requirement
- House Bills 4317 and 4318: Increase gas tax, exempt fuel from sales tax
- House Bill 4252: Repeal archaic laws
- House Bill 4194: Repeal state corporate welfare programs
- House Bill 4174: Repeal ban on direct consumer sales by brewers and winemakers
21 Bills Introduced by Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R)
- House Joint Resolution CC: Reduce federal share of state spending
- House Bills 4851 and 4852: Ban abortion after 20 weeks
- House Bill 4856: Require human fetus images be shown in high school biology classes
- House Bill 4858: Ban forcing clerics to perform homosexual marriages
- House Bills 4772 to 4778: Scale back firearm purchase and carry restrictions
- House Bills 4728 and 4729: Repeal health care facility rationing (certificate of need)
- House Bill 4730: Revoke corporate subsidies and tax breaks
- House Joint Resolution T: Ban income tax on individuals or businesses
- House Bill 4619: Ban state contracts with firms that collect bulk metadata on residents
- House Bill 4309: Respect health care payer and provider exercise of conscience
- House Bill 4310: Prorate Michigan's electoral college presidential votes
- House Joint Resolution J: Establish five-year sunset on administrative rules
- House Bill 4279: Define fetus as an “individual” in statute
Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.