Michigan State Senate
|Michigan State Senate|
|Term limits:||2 terms (8 years)|
|2014 session start:||January 8, 2014|
|Website:||Official Senate Page|
|Senate President:||Brian Calley (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Randy Richardville, (R)|
|Minority leader:||Gretchen Whitmer, (D)|
Democratic Party ( 12)
Republican Party ( 26)
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, Sec. 2, Michigan Constitution|
|Salary:||$71,685/year + expenses|
|Last Election:||November 2, 2010 (38 seats)|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014 (38 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Michigan Legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Senators
- 6 Standing Senate Committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Senators are elected at the same time as the governor and serve four-year terms concurrent with the governor's term of office. Senate and gubernatorial elections are offset by two years from U.S. Presidential elections (e.g., Presidential elections were in 2000 and 2004, gubernatorial and senate elections were in 2002 and 2006). Terms for senators begin on January 1, following the November general election. Senators who have not served more than half of someone else's Senate term are eligible for two full terms (i.e. - eight years).
As of April 2014, Michigan is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article IV of the Michigan Constitution establishes when the Michigan Legislature, of which the Senate is a part, is to be in session. Section 13 of Article IV states that the legislature is to convene on the second Wednesday in January of each year. Section 13 gives the Legislature the power to determine its date of adjournment through concurrent resolution.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature will be in session from January 8 through December 31.
- See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
In 2013, the Legislature was in session from January 9 to December 31.
After a extremely divided lame-duck session in December 2012, lawmakers are expected to have a tamer session. Major issues include the regulatory structure of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, increased transportation funding, education reform, and pension changes.
- See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions
In 2012, the Senate began the legislative session on January 11.
In 2011, the Legislature was in session from January 12 through mid December. A specific date is yet to be decided by the Legislature. The 348 calendar days that the Michigan Legislature is in session during 2011 is the longest legislative session in the country.
In the 2011 session, Michigan was a key battleground on corporate taxes. Governor Rick Snyder had made promises during his campaign to eliminate the “Michigan Business Tax,” which was costly and difficult to calculate. Governor Snyder delivered, replacing the tax with a flat 6 percent corporate income tax. The state will recover the $1.8 billion in lost business tax revenues with $1.5 billion in higher personal income tax revenues. Current Michigan law requires the state income tax to drop to 3.9 percent by 2015. Governor Snyder's measure keeps the income tax rate at its current 4.35 percent until January 1, 2013, when it will drop to 4.25 percent. During 2011, Michigan also became the first state in more than 50 years to cut state-level unemployment benefits.
Ethics and transparency
Following the Money report
- See also: Following the Money 2014 Report
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, a consumer-focused nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., released its annual report on state transparency websites, entitled Following the Money in April 2014, which measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. Michigan received the grade of B and a numerical score of 86.5, indicating Michigan was aAdvancing state in terms of transparency regarding state spending.
Open States Transparency
The Sunlight Foundation released an "Open Legislative Data Report Card" in March 2013. Michigan was given a grade of C in the report. The report card evaluated how adequate, complete and accessible legislative data is to the general public. A total of 10 states received an A -- Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Kansas, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Washington.
- See also: Michigan State Senate elections, 2014
Elections for the office of Michigan State Senate will consist of a primary election on August 5, 2014, and a general election on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election is April 22, 2014.
- See also: Michigan State Senate elections, 2010
Elections for the office of Michigan Senate were held in Michigan on November 2, 2010. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 11, 2010, and the primary election day was on August 3, 2010.
In 2010, the candidates running for state senate raised a total of $16,309,515 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, Michigan State Senate|
|Senate Republican Campaign Cmte of Michigan||$2,652,845|
|Michigan Senate Democratic Fund||$808,605|
|Trebesh, Michael Frederick||$353,093|
|Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association||$198,846|
|Michigan Chamber of Commerce||$169,110|
|Michigan Education Association||$163,425|
|Michigan Bankers Association||$149,150|
|Michigan Association of Realtors||$123,450|
- See also: Michigan State Senate elections, 2006
Elections for the office of Michigan State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 8, 2006, and a general election on November 7, 2006.
During the 2006 election, the total of contributions to Senate candidates was $14,463,621. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Michigan State Senate|
|Michigan Senate Republican Campaign Cmte||$2,290,135|
|Senate Democratic Fund Of Michigan||$1,293,060|
|Michigan Senate Democratic Caucus Fund||$587,712|
|Williamson, Patsy Lou||$330,165|
|Voorhees, Joanne M||$206,970|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Michigan||$203,790|
|United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers Of America||$172,945|
|Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association||$152,887|
|Maine Forest Products Council||$152,650|
|Business Minded Democrats||$148,050|
- See also: Michigan State Senate elections, 2002
Elections for the office of Michigan State Senate consisted of a primary election on August 6, 2002, and a general election on November 5, 2002.
During the 2002 election, the total of contributions to Senate candidates was $13,900,019. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Michigan State Senate|
|Senate Republican Campaign Cmte Of Michigan||$1,433,934|
|Senate Democratic Fund Of Michigan||$366,653|
|Galloway, David N||$300,000|
|Vear, Stephen A J||$295,913|
|United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers Of America||$150,025|
|Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association||$142,703|
|Nancy Cassis For State Representative||$141,004|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Michigan||$133,050|
Section 7 of Article 4 of the Michigan Constitution states, "Each senator and representative must be a citizen of the United States, at least 21 years of age, and an elector of the district he represents. The removal of his domicile from the district shall be deemed a vacation of the office. No person who has been convicted of subversion or who has within the preceding 20 years been convicted of a felony involving a breach of public trust shall be eligible for either house of the legislature."
| How Vacancies are filled in State Legislatures |
Whenever a vacancy occurs in the senate, it is up to the Governor to call for a special election. A special election must be held during the next scheduled general election. If the vacancy happened after the statewide primary, leaders of the respective party organizations within the Senate district can submit a list of nominees to be voted on by party leadership. A vote must be held no later than 21 days after the vacancy.
- See also: State legislatures with term limits
The Michigan legislature is one of 15 state legislatures with term limits. Voters enacted the Michigan Term Limits Act in 1992. That initiative said that Michigan senators are subject to term limits of no more than two four-year terms, or a total of eight years.enators who have not served more than half of someone else's Senate term are eligible for two full terms (i.e. - eight years). Michigan legislators assume office the at noon on first day of January.
The first year that the term limits enacted in 1992 impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2002.
- See also: Redistricting in Michigan
The state legislature has the power to redraw district boundaries. Changes to the boundaries are made in the form of regular legislation, which means the maps are subject to the Governor's veto. In 2010, the House and the Senate organized redistricting committees to handle drafting the maps. As a result of the 2010 elections, both chamber's of Michigan's legislature and Michigan's governorship were controlled by Republicans.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan's population fell from 9.94 million to 9.88 million between 2000 and 2010. Michigan's U.S. Congressional delegation decreased in size from 15 to 14 seats. A substantial population shift occurred from Detroit proper into the suburban areas.
The state legislature undertook a relatively private redistricting process. A Republican-proposed plan passed with bipartisan support after the House made some changes to the Senate plan. Governor Rick Snyder signed the plan, Senate Bill 498, into law on August 9, 2011.
Notably, the original Republican maps did not include a state senate district entirely within Detroit proper. Senate Democrats suggested some changes to the Detroit-area districts, which were then incorporated and sent to the House.
- See also: Comparison of state legislative salaries
As of 2013, members of the Michigan Legislature are paid $71,685/year. Legislators can use up to $10,800/year for expenses.
- See also: Partisan composition of state senates
|Party||As of April 2014|
The Lieutenant Governor serves as the presiding officer of the Senate, known as the President of the Senate. The president can only vote when there is a tie. In the absence of the President, the President Pro Tempore presides. The President Pro Tempore, Assistant President Pro Tempore, and Associate President Pro Tempore are elected by a vote of a majority of the Senators.
Standing Senate Committees
The Michigan Senate has twenty-two (22) standing committees:
- Banking and Financial Institutions
- Compliance and Accountability
- Economic Development
- Energy and Technology
- Families, Seniors and Human Services
- Government Operations
- Health Policy
- Infrastructure Modernization
- Local Government and Elections
- Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes
- Outdoor Recreation and Tourism
- Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing
- Regulatory Reform
- Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security
- Homeland Security and Emerging Technologies (decommissioned)
- Campaign and Election Oversight (decommissioned)
Partisan balance 1992-2013
During every year from 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Michigan State Senate. The Michigan State Senate is one of 13 state senates that was Republican for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. For the final three years of the study Michigan was under Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 541 Democratic and 517 Republican state senates from 1992 to 2013.
Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Massachusetts state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Michigan has had spurts of divided government and a Republican trifecta. The state had a Republican trifecta during three separate periods (1995-1996, 1999-2002, and 2011-2013) and divided government during three separate periods (1992-1994, 1997-1998, and 2003-2010). The state’s highest SQLI ranking came in 1999 under a Republican trifecta (19th). Beginning in 2007, Michigan has slipped into the bottom-10 of the SQLI ranking and has remained there since. Michigan saw its most precipitous drop in the SQLI ranking between 2001 and 2002 and again between 2003 and 2004, under both a Republican trifecta and divided government, respectively. The state had not had a Democratic trifecta.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 26.88
- SQLI average with divided government: 33.31
- Michigan State Senate
- Michigan Votes, a website that tracks votes of the Michigan state senators.
- Michigan Senate Democrats
- Michigan Senate Republicans
- Michigan State Senate election results
- Population in 2010 of the American states, accessed November 22, 2013
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001. Accessed February 13, 2014
- michiganinbrief.org, "Term limits," accessed December 17, 2013
- The Associated Press, "Mich. has nearly $1B more than expected for budget," January 10, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
- Detroit Free Press, "Michigan GOP puts tax break atop 2014 agenda, Bolger says," January 9, 2014. Accessed January 11, 2014
- South Bend Tribune, "Michigan Legislature starts tamer two-year session today," January 9, 2013
- Michigan State Legislature Sessions Schedule
- South Carolina Policy Council "50 State Legislative Session Interactive Map," February 2011
- Stateline.org, States balance budgets with cuts, not taxes, June 15, 2011
- 2010 session dates for Michigan legislature
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group, "Following the Money 2014 Report," accessed April 15, 2014
- Sunlight Foundation, "Ten Principles for Opening Up Government Information," accessed June 16, 2013
- Follow the Money: "Michigan Senate 2010 Campaign Contributions"
- Follow the Money, "Michigan 2006 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Michigan 2002 Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Michigan Legislature, "Michigan Election Law," accessed December 17, 2013(Referenced Statute 168.178, Michigan Compiled Laws)
- Michigan Legislature, "Michigan Election Law," accessed December 17, 2013(Referenced Statute 168.634 (1)-(2), Michigan Compiled Laws)
- U.S. Census Bureau, "2010 Census: Michigan Profile, 2011
- The Hill, "Longtime Dem Reps. Levin and Dingell could face redistricting danger" 22 Dec. 2010
- The Detroit News, "Black caucus preps for Michigan redistricting," March 25, 2011
- Livingston Daily, "Public could get early peek at district lines," May 18, 2011
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Michigan State Senate Rules - Chapter 1 Section 1: Senate Organization
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