As the Sky over Michigan Falls, Chamber and Republicans Focus on More Tort Deform
Michigan has for months now been in the midst of its worst budget crisis ever. The Governor and the Legislature are talking about taking school money away in the last quarter of the fiscal year, laying off state employees, and potentially shutting down our government. And now the governor is threatening the reduction of Medicare payments to medical providers who serve poor people and elderly people. The problem is due in no small part the last year's Republican-controlled Legislature's elimination of a business tax that is now wearing a $2 Billion hole in Michigan's pockets.
What has the Michigan Chamber of Commerce spent the last several months working on during these trying times? Tort deform. Despite proven facts to the contrary, the Chamber has chosen to spend its time and money on the same thing as the Michigan Republican Party -- more tort deform.
Michigan is the only state in the union that provides complete immunity for drug companies that manufacture and sell dangerous drugs. In a March ad in the Lansing State Journal, the Chamber disingenuously stated:
[Repealing drug immunity laws] is the first step in their plan to turn Michigan into a playground for personal injury lawyers. They want to undo laws that hinder them from recruiting phony victims who aren't even hurt so they can flood our courts with more frivolous lawsuits.In a press release from the House Republican Communications Services, the response to the repeal attempt was to once again blame trial lawyers, rather than to help victims of dangerous drugs. The Republicans disingenuously stated:
The people who stand to gain the most are the personal injury lawyers looking for their next pig payday.Is it any wonder that we are still waiting for the Michigan Republican's budget proposal to leave the Senate floor? They seem to be spending all their time taking shots at attorneys and victims, and very little of their time actually doing the job they were elected to do: balance Michigan's budget.