What is Sen. Richardville doing with HCR 11?

Yesterday,  Senator Richardville oddly and abruptly moved House Concurrent Resolution (HCR 11) out of Appropriations to the Government Operations Committee.   Why a Common Core resolution would be referred to the Government Operations Committee was confusing to me especially after a joint committee heard over three hours of testimony the previous day.  I made various calls yesterday to learn more.  Strangely, most of the Senate offices i called hadn’t even heard about the change.

I spoke with a staff person from Senator Meekhof’s  office.  Meekhof (R) is also on the Government  Operations Committee.  She said the Senator did not know that it had been moved out of Appropriations and back into Government Operations. This is notable because earlier in the day Senator Meekhof, with the approval of the Senate, took it out of Government Operations and into the Appropriations Committee.  (See Senate Journal 77) Appropriations is chaired by Senator Walker who then held the public hearing on Oct. 2.

Walker was asked by a reporter from MIRS News about the switch out of his committee, “I hadn’t seen that it was sent there, yet,” Walker said. “So, you’re telling me something brand new.”  Strange that both Walker and Meekhof didn’t know about it until others asked.  I did learn that the Government Operations Committee is chaired by Senator Majority Leader Richardville and things became a little more clear.

 Gongwer News Service spoke with Richardville’s spokesperson Amber McCann who said, “there was no specific reason to the action except that it should have been sent to Government Operations to begin with.”

Why would Meekhof  take it out of Government Operations and put it in Appropriations if that was where it was supposed to be to begin with?  Richardville was present during session when that action was taken and there is no record of an objection.   Amber McCann was also asked by MIRS about the move.  She laughed and said, “He really, really wanted it.”

Richardville’s action seems like an insecure move from somebody who does not want to discuss the truth about the resolution and its serious flaws.   All he needs is two other members of his small committee of five to get HCR 11 out of committee and onto the floor and gavel it through.

I talked with a staff person for Senator Dave Hildenbrand (R) the Majority Vice Chair of Government Operations about what the committee might do next.  He assured me that the Government Operations Committee is not a rubber stamp committee.  Maybe not, but it sure seems like a resolution to continue education funding would be better placed in appropriations or education.

Currently, there is no scheduled meeting for the committee which typically meets on Tuesdays at 1 PM.

There are rumors that Republicans in the Senate might try to draft their own resolution to address concerns.  This would be a welcome move. There are serious flaws in the HCR 11 and it should NOT be just gaveled through without serious discussion and debate.  That’s the political games that allowed Common Core to be adopted in Michigan.   Let’s not let it happen again.

Contact the members of the Government Operations Committee   Let them know you noticed the political games being played by Senator Richardville and that you want them to stop playing games with our children’s future.

Tell them know you do NOT  support Common Core and you do NOT support HCR 11 unless it includes an amendment to get Michigan COMPLETELY OUT of  Smarter Balanced Assessments.  (More detailed concerns on HCR 11 are here.)