Winter Break Interrupted

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Usually the final session of the year is ceremonial, one that doesn't require members of the State House of Representatives to be present.

But in an unexpected emergency session, representatives met to approve Senate Bill 757, which extends the state's welfare laws by another year. The current laws would have expired on the Dec. 31.

On Tuesday Governor Granholm vetoed a welfare reform package which would have limited the time someone could be on welfare to 48 months.

"48 months is four long years for an able-bodied adult to find work," said House Speaker Craig DeRoche (R-Novi), "welfare is supposed to be a safety net for these people who can't find work."

DeRoche said the emergency vote was crucial to keep important reforms alive.

"I think the governor's priorities might have been misplaced with this veto," DeRoche added.

But democrats say more work is needed on the reform package before it's passed into law.

"We're really close," said Dianne Byrum (D-Onondaga).

The house will go back to work on welfare reform after the new year.