Though it has been almost a month since that fateful day of December 18th, the last day of the 2013-2014 Lame Duck session in Lansing, I thought I should give some details about what happened.
That Thursday, the House and Senate convened at 10am. We finished 20 hours later, at about 6am on Friday. The Democrats in both chambers had their best day in four years. This happened mainly because, instead of working with conservative Republicans in the House to ensure there were no additional taxes coming out of citizens' pockets in order to fix roads, the Governor and Republican Leadership decided to steer left for the votes they needed to get a large tax increase.
There was little evidence that day that Republicans were in the majority. We saw Democrat-sponsored bills quickly brought up and passed – often with less than half the Republican members voting for them (no Hastert rule). This happened regularly, especially as it was clear that the Senate was having difficulty getting the 2/3 vote to put the tax hike on the May ballot. One could see deals being cut with Democrats – their liberal bills being approved – in order to get their support for the tax hike vote. Twice I tried to speak against parts of the sales tax hike package from the House floor and twice I was denied the ability to speak by the Republican leadership. They were intent on nothing negative being said about the massive tax increase legislation.