Advocacy News – Jan. 12, 2023
The 102nd Michigan Legislature convened in Lansing this Wednesday with 148 lawmakers from both chambers taking their oaths of office and Democrats in complete power for the first time in 40 years. While there were encouraging calls for bipartisanship, finding common ground and ending partisan bickering and political stalemates, announcements by House and Senate leaders about priority issues would suggest there may be some key areas of disagreement in early 2023.
As expected, Rep. Joe Tate (D-Detroit) was elected as Michigan’s first Black House Speaker. The vote was approved with 102 yeas, and 8 nay votes from the self-named “Freedom Caucus,” including Reps. Carra (R-Three Rivers), DeSana (R-Carleton), Fox (R-Fremont), Friske (R-Charlevoix), Hoadley (R-Au Gres), Maddock (R-Milford), Rigas (R-Caledonia) and Schriver (R-Oxford). In the Senate, Sen. Winne Brinks (D-Grand Rapids), was formally elected Senate Majority Leader and is the first woman to serve in the position.
Leaders of the new Democratic majority, including Speaker Tate and Senate Majority Leader Brinks, announced six key priorities for their caucuses in 2023. They include:
- Repealing Michigan’s landmark Right to Work law
- Restoring Michigan’s prevailing wage mandate
- Expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA) to include protections for the LGBTQ+ community
- Repealing the pension tax
- Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) to incentivize work and
- Repealing the state’s 1931 abortion ban.
The Chamber is prepared to oppose repeal of the Right to Work law and fight for the freedom of employees to decide whether to pay dues or other equivalent fees to labor unions as a condition of employment and protect our state’s economic competitiveness. We will also oppose efforts to reinstate Michigan’s prevailing wage law on taxpayer-funded projects and require union wage rates to be paid on these construction projects regardless of whether the workers are represented by a labor agreement.
Despite these differences, the Chamber has voiced support for an expansion of civil rights protections for the LGBTQ+ community and the EITC, so we believe there are areas where we can work collaboratively with lawmakers from both sides of the aisle in early 2023.
Additionally, committee names, chairmanship and number of slots for each have been determined.
Senate committees and chairs will include:
- Appropriations (and various subcommittees) – Sen. Anthony
- Civil Rights and Judiciary – Sen. Chang
- Economic and Community Development – Sen. McMorrow
- Education – Sen. Polehanki
- Elections and Ethics – Sen. Moss
- Energy and Environment – Sen. McCann
- Finance, Insurance and Consumer Protection – Sen. Cavanagh
- Government Operations – Sen. Brinks
- Health Policy – Sen. Hertel
- Housing and Human Services – Sen. Irwin
- Joint Committee on Administrative Rules – Sen. Wojno
- Labor – Sen. Cherry
- Local Government – Sen. Klinefelt
- Natural Resources and Agriculture – Sen. Shink
- Oversight – Sen. Singh
- Regulatory Affairs – Sen. Moss
- Transportation and Infrastructure – Sen. Geiss
- Veterans and Emergency Services – Sen. Klinefelt
House committees and chairs will include:
- Agriculture – Rep. Miller
- Appropriations (and various subcommittees) – Rep. Witwer
- Criminal Justice – Rep. Hope
- Economic Development and Small Business – Rep. Hoskins
- Education – Rep. Koleszar
- Elections – Rep. Tsernoglou
- Energy, Communications, and Technology – Rep. Scott
- Ethics and Oversight – Rep. Byrnes
- Families, Children and Seniors – Rep. Young
- Government Operations – Rep. Liberati
- Health Policy – Rep. Rogers
- Higher Education – Rep. Glanville
- Insurance and Financial Services – Rep. B. Carter
- Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) – Rep. Haadsma
- Judiciary – Rep. Breen
- Labor – Rep. Haadsma
- Local Government and Municipal Finance – Rep. Fitzgerald
- Military, Veterans and Homeland Security – Rep. Conlin
- Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation – Rep. Pohutsky
- Regulatory Reform – Rep. T. Carter
- Tax Policy – Rep. Neeley
- Transportation, Mobility and Infrastructure – Rep. Shannon
The Chamber will be closely monitoring bill introductions in the coming days and weeks and will keep members posted on the progress of key issues, including those noted above. Please contact your Chamber business advocacy team with any questions at email@example.com. You can also help guide our advocacy efforts by joining one of our three policy committees – learn more and sign up today!