MIRS provides comprehensive news and analysis of state government delivered in written reports detailing the activities of the House, Senate, Judicial and Executive branches of Michigan state government.
Michigan News And Capitol Report, Week Ending, Fri. Nov 9, 2018
Bills Affecting Minimum Wage, Paid Sick Leave Introduced In Senate
SB 1171, sponsored by Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R-Lowell), would preserve the tip credit for servers, which would fly in the face of the minimum wage initiative approved by the Legislature earlier this year that would eliminate the tip credit and eventually bring those workers’ wages up $12 an hour.
“We appreciate Sen. Hildenbrand introducing this legislation to keep servers and bartenders safe from outside influences trying to disrupt our livelihoods, industry, and culture that we know and love” says Daniel Tucker, a manager and server at Lansing Brewing Co. and a captain for Restaurant Workers of America (RWA), in a press release. The RWA has been advocating for preservation of the tip credit.
Meanwhile, Sen. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) is the sponsor of SB 1175, which would amend the paid sick leave initiative also approved earlier this year to remove certain provisions that call for a rebuttable presumption that an employer has violated the act if an employer takes an “adverse personnel action” against someone, including if a person files a complaint with the state or court alleging a violation of the paid sick leave act.
Mi Time to Care, the group that pushed the paid sick leave proposal and continues to advocate for it, raised questions about the Legislature wanting to amend the proposal.
“Right now Michigan law guarantees every worker the right to earn paid sick time. The policy's overwhelming popularity made it certain to pass had it gone to the ballot. Why would the Senate enact something the people of Michigan clearly want, only to change it?” said Kyle DeBuc, director of policy, advocacy and government relations at United Way for Southeastern Michigan, a steering committee member of MI Time to Care, in a press release.
Both bills have been sent to the Senate Government Operations Committee, chaired by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive).
Schuette Wins 66 Counties In Highest Percentage Turnout Election Since '62
With all but five Wayne County precincts reporting, the Republican nominee won 66 of Michigan's 83 counties, including all but three north of Clare. He captured the populous Livingston and Ottawa counties, but beyond that, Schuette went down hard in the state's most populated areas, eventually losing by less than 9 percentage points.
Secretary of State data showed Schuette did win his home Midland County district, but Lisa Posthumus Lyons’ home Kent County went for Democratic nominee Gretchen Whitmer.
Republican Attorney General candidate Tom Leonard won 75 of Michigan's 83 counties, but the ones he lost -- Genesee, Gogebic, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Marquette, Muskegon, Oakland, Washtenaw and Wayne make up significant pieces of the state.
The final count from Election Day has 4.3 million people having voted in the Tuesday election, more than the 4 million former Elections Director Chris Thomas and Practical Political Consultants founder Mark Grebner estimated in the months leading up to the elections.
It's the most voters for a mid-term election in Michigan history. According to various news outlets, the 2018 election was the highest percentage turnout since 1962.
Schuette counties - Alcona, Alger, Allegan, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Baraga, Barry, Benzie, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Clare, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Emmet, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Houghton, Huron, Ionia, Iosco, Iron, Jackson, Kalkaska, Keweenaw, Lake, Lapeer, Lenawee, Livingston, Luce, Mackinac, Manistee, Mason, Mecosta, Menominee, Midland, Missaukee, Monroe, Montcalm, Montmorency, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Ontonagon, Osceola, Oscoda, Otsego, Ottawa, Presque Isle, Roscommon, St. Clair, St. Joseph, Sanilac, Schoolcraft, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Van Buren, and Wexford.
Whitmer counties - Bay, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Gogebic, Ingham, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Kent, Leelanau, Macomb, Marquette, Muskegon, Oakland, Saginaw, Washtenaw, and Wayne.
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Hanna-Attisha, Loepp Among Whitmer Transition Team
Hanna-Attisha, the physician credited with helping expose the lead-in-the-water crisis in Flint, as well as Loepp, are among the “honorary transition committee members” announced Wednesday as part of Whitmer’s transition rollout, now live at michigantransition.org.
Mark Bernstein was named the director of Whitmer’s transition office and charged with leading the day-to-day operations. Also on the team as chief strategist is Mark Burton, a past Whitmer chief of staff who also ran the pro-Whitmer nonprofit Build A Better Michigan during the gubernatorial campaign.
Other honorary transition members include:
- Former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, who also played a role as Whitmer’s debate negotiator during the general election campaign.
- Former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer.
- Former Senate Minority Leader Mike Prusi.
- Former U.S. Rep. Joe Schwarz.
- Kate Pew Wolters, chair of the Steelcase Foundation and a Grand Valley State University trustee.
- Allan Gilmour, retired vice chair of Ford Motor Co.
- Dug Song, co-founder of Duo Security.
- Gary Torgo, chair of Chemical Financial Corp.
- Portia Roberson, CEO of Focus: HOPE.
Awenate Cobbina as deputy director, JoAnne Huls as COO and Steve Liedel as general counsel round out the rest of the team.
Whitmer included visiting the Governor’s office Wednesday as part of her transition, where Gov. Rick Snyder transition discussions began, his office said in a statement.
“I still have a full dog year left to get things done, but we have been working on a transition plan for a year and now it’s time to put that into action, as well,” Snyder said in a statement. “It’s important that we have a smooth, strong transition so that Gov.-elect Whitmer can put her foot on the gas on day one and help maintain Michigan’s momentum.”
Snyder Tells GOP Caucuses He Expects Pile Of Bills To Sign For Christmas
"I said 'if I look at the end of every two-year period that I've been here, I can usually get a pretty good stack of bills,'" Snyder said of prior lame duck sessions. "They'll be leaving at the [end of] session and I say, 'you'll kind of be leaving me a holiday gift of a stack of bills to review and I wouldn't expect that to be any different this year.' They found that quite humorous."
Snyder along with Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) and Speaker Tom Leonard (R-DeWitt) will no doubt be talking about what the GOP can do prior to the end of it's lock on power in Lansing.
The governor did say, though, that he's not looking at lame duck as a way to pass "partisan bills" noting "that's not my style." He did say he hopes to see what can be accomplished for the good of Michigan.
The soon-to-be termed out Governor spoke about the issues he'd like to see tackled and the initial "transition planning" meeting he held Wednesday with Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer.
The following is a transcript of his back and forth with the press.
Q. What did you talk to the Senate Republicans about today?
A. I just wanted to thank them for all the partnership. The election took place, and we've got some new members joining the caucus for next year. I just wanted to say thank you for all the partnership this last seven and half years or so.
We have a few weeks here yet, and we've got some good work we could get done. Just encouraging them to keep up that spirit of relentless positive action in working together.
Q. Any issues in particular that you think they're going to tackle?
A. Well, again, I think that will be part of the process of their working through the caucus process to determine what their priorities are and I've got certain priorities that I'd like to see done. As we've done over a lot of these other periods, we've found a lot of common ground and I hope to send the same message to the House. 'Let's work hard together and wrap up strong. Run through the tape.'
Q. Do you want the legislature to tackle any regulatory changes in preparation of Proposal 1 and it's enactment?
A. I really haven't looked at it yet. So again, that proposal just passed so we'll be looking at what's required for implementation and what's appropriate for us to look at versus what will fall next year.
Q. Are there any issues that you want to tackle while there's full Republican control?
A. Again, I'm not looking at it as a partisan basis, you know that's not my perspective. It's more what are some good things for Michigan that we can still do while I'm still governor. We're still partners with the House and Senate and there's things I've talked about in the past - renew and rebuild Michigan in particular are a couple of things I'd like to have more discussion on.
There's likely to be a supplemental of some fashion, so that's a good thing. A good opportunity to say we can make some smart investments.
Q. How much of a priority is it to lock in Line 5 and that agreement before the administration changes hands?
A. Again, we sort of set a timetable going back to the spring time. So I don't view it just because there's an administration change. But we've been working in diligent fashion with Enbridge and other parties. There's going to be a presentation to the Bridge Authority about moving that project along, which I think is good for Michigan.
Q. During your transition discussion with Whitmer yesterday, did Line 5 come up?
A. No we didn't spend time, again this was, we know each other, but she's been out of office for a couple of years and she's got a new position, and again in the interest of civility and everything else that's best for Michigan citizens I want to make sure there's a transition and be proactive and helpful. So we had a very nice discussion.
Much of it was what are some of the issues of being governor and how we make the transition happen best.
Q. Anything else on that list? You mentioned environmental issues, what else would you like to get done?
A. Well, I've always had a list. So at this point I'm going to see what their priorities are and we'll merge them together to see what we can accomplish and I hope to get the same feedback from the House to see what we can work together on.
Q. On the environment, PFAS funding, what's the . . .
A. Again, as you finish the budget there's always some fall aside issues - PFAS (per- and polyfluoralkyl substances) could be one of those items to make sure we have appropriate resources.