By a vote of 60 to 32, the Michigan House of Representatives yesterday approved and sent to the state Senate the proposed constitutional amendment that would give the District of Columbia full voting representation in Congress.
Meanwhile, the Ohio House is scheduled to vote on the question today in Columbus, setting the stage for the Buckeye State to follow New Jersey and become the second of the 38 legislatures required for ratification. The Ohio Senate approved the measure last week.
The Michigan Senate also could take up the resolution as early as today, with supporters in Lansing aiming for a final vote before the lame duck Michigan legislature adjourns about Dec. 14.
Yesterday's vote in the Michigan House saw 53 Democrats and seven Republicans support ratification, and 22 Republicans and 10 Democrats in opposition. The 60 yes votes were four more than the simple majority of members requires for passage.
Donna J. Carlson, an Arizona legislator and chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Washington-based organization of conservative legislators that is leading the nationwide opposition to ratification, criticized the Michigan body for voting without holding public hearings.
In a letter to legislative leaders in Michigan, Carlson said she was "dismayed" at the "irresponsible and shameful" scheduling of a vote without "frank discussion" beforehand.