by Rick Thompson/October 15, 2018
LANSING- A review of legislation sponsored in the last four years by current Speaker of the House Tom Leonard reveals he introduced mostly ceremonial bills which have no meaningful impact on Michigan residents.
The review was inspired by criticism from the current Republican candidate for governor, Bill Schuette, of his opponent, Democratic nominee Gretchen Whitmer, during a debate in Grand Rapids last week. During the debate Schuette, who is the state’s current Attorney General, accused former Representative and Senator Whitmer of only passing three bills during her time in office. Whitmer countered by pointing out that her party was in the minority during most of her time in the legislature.
Tom Leonard has enjoyed being in the majority during his tenure as Speaker of the House, but has been the primary sponsor of almost exclusively ceremonial legislation while in office. During the 2015-2016 legislative cycle Leonard introduced eight bills as the primary- of which three bills governing the insurance industry became law. He sponsored another bill regarding elder abuse which was not passed. The remaining four bills are ceremonial in nature, including one suggesting the naming of a road and three to declare September as both Leukodystrophy Awareness and Life Insurance Awareness Month.
The record of legislation which Leonard was the primary sponsor of during the 2017-2018 legislature contains even more ceremonial items- and nothing of substance.
During this legislative cycle Leonard was the primary sponsor of 14 bills in tribute to former legislators, many of whom passed away, and 2 other bills targeting September as Leukodystrophy Awareness Month. No other bills proposing actual fixes to Michigan laws were introduced with Leonard as the primary during the current legislative cycle.
By comparison the former Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter, during his last two years in that office, was the primary sponsor of 30 bills. Of those 30, only four were ceremonial in nature including one which praised the anniversary of the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association.
You can search for bills by visiting the legislature’s Internet site by clicking HERE.