The Senate passed the “Wolf Hunt” bill, SB 288 0f 2013, by a 25 to 11 vote along party lines today, but without the controversial appropriation — which had been a blatant end-run around the democratic process intended to nullify a successful petition drive to put the question of wolf hunting on the ballot for a popular vote. Sen. Tom Casperson, arguably one of the worst lawmakers Michigan has ever known, had tried to employ a bit of legislative chicanery when he attached an unnecessary $1 million dollar appropriation to the bill to make it referendum-proof.
Democracy Tree reported that Casperson recently got another smack-down when Attorney General Bill Schuette told him he couldn’t reallocate DNR Trust Funds to pave logging roads and dredge harbors.
Today’s Senate bill will go the House next for approval before the governor signs it into law. Had the appropriation been left in, there was a risk the governor would have exercised veto, or possibly line-item veto on the appropriation.
Opposition to wolf hunting in Michigan remains strong and Casperson should expect to encounter a vigorous fight on the issue. As he should.
Amy Kerr Hardin