By MATT MINER // Capitol Strategies Group
While the capitol halls have been quiet since the legislature went on break in July, Lansing stayed busy with activity. Numerous bills have been signed by Governor Whitmer, ranging from the state budget to cocktails to-go. Fundraising and law making doesn’t rest just because the House and Senate floors are empty. Buckle-up, and put that phone down. Read on to get a summer snapshot from Lansing:
Earlier in June, when the legislature was getting ready to wrap up for the summer, plans for metal detectors to be installed across the entrances of the capitol were in full swing. Expect to see them by the beginning of the session in September. Don’t bring your gun though, because they’re banned from the building, unless you’re a legislator with a valid CPL permit.
Talks to reopen Southwest Michigan’s Palisades nuclear plant began in earnest in June just in time for Senator Debbie Stabenow to begin pushing the Biden administration to make an agreement with the Canadian government on nuclear waste storage with a goal to ensure that the storage is not being placed anywhere near the Great Lakes.
The Democrats’ legislative attempt at achieving a 100% carbon-free energy portfolio by 2034 was put up before the House Energy, Communications, and Technology Committee later in the month, as Michigan is already on track to lead the country with a record investment in green energy.
By the end of June, Democrats were hurrying to the finish line with the state budget. Coming in at just over $54 billion, the Dems presented a record investment in the state, with DHHS, transportation, and labor and economic opportunity receiving some of the biggest slices of the pie.
A quiet month in Lansing legislatively, but it was also the end-of-quarter campaign finance reporting for the legislative caucus’. Michigan House Democrats reported $925,833 in contributions for Q2 and $1.7 million cash on hand. Senate Democrats reported $623,078 in contributions and $571,645 cash on hand. House Republicans brought in just over $1 million in contributions and have $2.3 million cash on hand. Senate Republicans raised $673,806 and have $1.186 million cash on hand. This is the second quarter that republicans have outraised democrats in fundraising while still being in the minority.
Senate Dems are reportedly prioritizing climate change bills in fall when session resumes. “I think we owe it to our future…We’ve got to accelerate our transition to renewable energy.” –
Senator Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo). Significant legislation is pending before each chamber to push Michigan into a carbon free future.
Representatives Lori Stone (D-Warren) and Kevin Coleman (D-Westland) both took second in their Mayoral primaries in their effort to leave the legislature for greener pastures. Both face an uphill battle to win the seats, but if successful, it could leave the House in a 54-54 seat tie, which will be something interesting to watch as the fall develops.
Bills Signed by the Governor
PA 39 to 41: prohibits cellular device usage while operating a vehicle
PA 95: allows for carryout and delivery of liquor from an on-premise license holder PA 96: allows for sale of liquor at sporting venues with proper licensing
PA 119: the record state budget, clocking in just over $54 billion PA 71: bans minor marriage in Michigan
PA 79 and 80: modify principal shopping district and business improvement zones PA 117 and 118: defines and bans conversion therapy
PA 81 to 88: elections package including increasing precinct size, updating requirements for absent voter ballot drop boxes, and creating an absent voter ballot application tracking system.