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Michigan Rep. Barb Byrum Silenced On House Floor �� Again!


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Michigan Rep. Barb Byrum silenced on House floor – AGAIN!




Michigan House Representative Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) was prevented from speaking on the House floor today by Republican leadership. She and other Democrats asked to speak on a package of pay equity bills that would address income inequality in Michigan.


They were rebuffed.


From a statement by House Democrats



"State Representative Barb Byrum (D-Onondaga) and other House Democrats today took House Republicans to task for repeatedly failing to recognize the needs of women in Michigan. So far this year, House Republicans have repeatedly shown they don’t share women’s priorities in matters such as pay equity, women’s health care, middle-class taxes and teacher retirement.

Today, little more than a month after she was barred by House Republicans from speaking on the House floor after voicing opposition to an anti-choice bill, Rep. Barb Byrum once again tried to speak in the House, this time in favor of a package of bills that would address pay equity. Again, she was denied the chance to speak."


“House Republicans decided again to not let me speak today on the House Floor, but they can’t stop millions of Michigan women from speaking out in November,” Byrum said. “The women of this state want leaders who share their priorities, including fair pay, access to women’s health care and a fair tax system for their families. These are values House Republicans don’t share with us.”

According to House Dems, so far this year, House Republicans have:

  • Refused to allow debate or committee testimony on pay equity bills on the House Floor (House Bills 4611-4614)
  • Refused to allow discussion of bills that would undo tax changes that disproportionately hurt middle-class families, such as the elimination of the child deduction, the reduction of the homestead exemption and earned income tax credits and the senor tax (HB 5640)
  • Railroaded through sweeping anti-abortion measures, including the over-regulation of clinics that perform abortions (HB 5711)
  • Pushed through changes to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) that will result in no pensions for future teachers and that disproportionately affect women, who comprise 73.7 percent of the current teachers in the system and 70 percent of the retired teachers (SB 1040)

Rep. Dian Slavens of Canton said, “It is time this Legislature demonstrates that they understand the needs of women and middle-class families in this state. I believe that the people of Michigan deserve elected leaders who do get it. We have been speaking to women around the state about the things that matter most to them, and we understand their concerns.”


Michigan Republicans, drunk with power, continue run roughshod over the rights of women and Democrats in general and, as was revealed yesterday, over the rules and basic ethics standards we should be able to expect from our lawmakers.


If Michiganders didn’t already have enough reasons to get out the vote & get out and vote, their treatment of the women in our state, including their female colleagues should be ample reason to push them over the edge.

We don’t just need change in Michigan. We need revolutionary change.


Our Democratic legislators are certainly ready. “We have been working so hard to promote measures that help the people of this state, not just corporate special interests,” Representative Stacy Erwin Oakes (D-Saginaw) said in a statement. “We will continue fighting for the things that matter, because the people of Michigan have told us that’s what they want us to do.”


[byrum photo credit: Anne C. Savage]

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Rep. Barb Byrum, armed with 115,000 signatures, seeks apology from Republicans after 'vagina' controversy



LANSING, MI - A day of protests and rallies at the Michigan Capitol has begun with Democratic Rep. Barb Byrum of Onondaga seeking an apology from Republicans for a one-day, House floor speaking ban last month.

Byrum, along with the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy For America members, said she delivered more than 115,000 signatures calling on Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger to publicly apologize for the ban The ban came in response to Byrum and Democratic Rep. Lisa Brown’s role in a debate last month during which they spoke out against an anti-abortion bill.


Byrum urged supporters to walk with her to turn in the signatures to Bolger’s office before the House session began Wednesday.

“He has a lot going on today,” Byrum said. “This just adds to the pressure.”

Bolger also is dealing with the fallout of a report issued by the Kent County prosecutor that criticized his role in Rep. Roy Schmidt of Grand Rapids switching from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party this year. That report came out Tuesday.


It appears unlikely Byrum and Brown of West Bloomfield will be getting an apology from Republicans. But there are no formal speaking sanctions against them as the House begins session Wednesday. Byrum spoke on the House floor during Wednesday's session.

Republican leaders say Byrum and Brown violated House decorum rules during the June abortion bill debate, and have been trying to use the event for political gain in an election year.


“The Democrats will continue to use this issue as a distraction because they want to talk about everything except our record of accomplishments in reforming Michigan and the fact that they have opposed those accomplishments at every turn,” Bolger spokesman Ari Adler said in an e-mail.


During floor debate in June, Byrum yelled “vasectomy!” and marched off through the chamber after failed attempts to speak on an amendment that would have added limitations to the procedure for men.


Brown's statement caught more attention: “I'm flattered that you're all so interested in my vagina. But no means no.”

Another protest today by Planned Parenthood over the anti-abortion rights bill attracted a smaller crowd than anticipated, about 150 people, as of 11:30 a.m.

Email Tim Martin at tmartin4@mlive.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TimMartinMI



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