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Re: E-M:/ MEC Capitol Update - Deregulation of Electric Utilities

Enviro-Mich message from James Clift <jamesmec@voyager.net>


It works like this.  The results of the record roll call vote were displayed
on the voting board showing the mercury amendment had been adopted.  The
floor leader for the majority party (Rep. Raczkowski) made a motion to
reconsider the vote by which the amendment had passed. Within seconds the
presiding officer (Rep. Scranton) slams the gavel declaring the motion to
reconsider passed. Rep. Raczkowski made a motion to vote again on the issue,
ignoring calls from the Democrats for a record roll call vote. Seconds later
the gavel slams again declaring that the vote had failed the second time.

Copies of the roll call vote can be found by linking to the following page,
and going to the House journal for 5/31/00 (SB 937, RC# 642, p.1426).


The final result is that coal-fired power plants remain the largest source of
mercury into our environment, and remain unregulated.

James Clift
Michigan Environmental Council
(517) 487-9539

jeffsurfus wrote:

James or someone,

> Can you please explain to me how they were able to quickly throw out the
> vote on the amendment so easily?  Was there nothing that the other side
> could do?  How can they declare an amendment as failed when there is a
> recorded roll call with the required votes for passage?
> This is all very puzzling and, frankly, scary!
> Jeff Surfus

> James Clift wrote:
> > Representative Callahan offered an amendment to require the state to
> > regulate mercury from coal-fired power plants.  These are the largest
> > sources of mercury emissions into the air and are currently
> > unregulated.  The amendment would have allowed the MDEQ to determine
> > what level of mercury emissions were safe and promulgate a rule by July
> > 1, 2002.  The administration and utility companies opposed the
> > amendment. The amendment received the 56 votes needed for passage, but
> > House leadership used a quick gavel to reconsider the vote by which it
> > passed, then revote again (no record roll call) and declare the
> > amendment had failed (elapse time, 5-10 seconds).
> >
> > This tactic basically decided that votes didn't matter and whatever the
> > administration wanted to happen would happen.  A slap to all residents
> > of Michigan who think they live in a democracy.
> >

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