Update on the section 26 discussion – We've been had….

My concern that the Michigan constitution was violated (section 26 ref 5 days in the houses) is still a real one, but here is essentially the answer I received when talking to a legislative aide.

The bill (HB-5198) was originally in both houses and went through revisions AFTER meeting the constitutional requirement. Because the bill originally affected in the same section of law, it is considered constitutionally sound and able to be voted on, and enacted into law. The original bill simply acted as a shell, a “vehicle” so to speak. A little more analysis on 5198’s changes can be found here: HB-5198 changes

The INTENT of the Michigan constitution is pretty clear. As the section reads:

§ 26 Bills; printing, possession, reading, vote on passage.
Sec. 26. No bill shall be passed or become a law at any regular session of the legislature until it has been printed or reproduced and in the possession of each house for at least five days. Every bill shall be read three times in each house before the final passage thereof. No bill shall become a law without the concurrence of a majority of the members elected to and serving in each house. On the final passage of bills, the votes and names of the members voting thereon shall be entered in the journal.

AND… if you read the following as well :

§ 24 Laws; object, title, amendments changing purpose.
Sec. 24. No law shall embrace more than one object, which shall be expressed in its title. No bill shall be altered or amended on its passage through either house so as to change its original purpose as determined by its total content and not alone by its title.

In other words, the section of law it affect should not be the only indicator of its ability to pass the constitutional “smell test.” The incredible morphing of HB-5198 Violated the trust of Michigan citizens, and also the intent of the constitution as well.

Both Democrats AND Republican officials may deny the validity of the above statements, but it seems that is how both parties get certain measures through after the initial bills have been made constitutionally “ok…”