LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Latest on the Michigan Legislature's lame-duck session (all times local):
Bills advancing in Michigan's Republican-controlled Legislature would strip power from the incoming Democratic secretary of state.
A state Senate panel voted 4-1, on party lines, Wednesday for bills to have a bipartisan commission oversee campaign finance instead of the secretary of state. Jocelyn Benson is poised to become the first Democratic secretary of state in 24 years when she takes office in January.
Democrats say the move is a bid to limit their power after an election in which they made gains, while other critics say the commission would deadlock and ensure lax enforcement. Republicans say the concept is not new, and voters recently showed their support for independent panels to be involved in elections by approving a redistricting ballot initiative.
The full Senate could vote later Wednesday.
Republicans who control Michigan's Legislature are expected to vote on bills that would strip power from the Democratic secretary of state-elect and give lawmakers authority to intervene in lawsuits.
Democrats won the governor, attorney general and secretary of state's offices last month. But before they are sworn, GOP legislators are hoping to enact laws limiting or affecting the Democrats' powers .
One bill up for consideration Wednesday would create a commission to enforce campaign-finance requirements rather than incoming Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Another bill could impact Gov.-elect Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General-elect Dana Nessel when they consider the state's positions on laws subject to legal challenges.
The legislation would empower the Legislature to intervene in any suit at any stage — a right already granted to the attorney general.