Michigan House of Representatives
|Michigan House of Representatives|
|Term limits:||3 terms (6 years)|
|2015 session start:||January 14, 2015|
|Website:||Official House Page|
|House Speaker:||Kevin Cotter (R)|
|Majority Leader:||Aric Nesbitt (R)|
|Minority leader:||Tim Greimel (D)|
Democratic Party (47)
Republican Party (63)Independent (1)
|Length of term:||2 years|
|Authority:||Art IV, Michigan Constitution|
|Salary:||$71,685/year + expenses|
|Last Election:||November 4, 2014 (110 seats)|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016 (110 seats)|
|Redistricting:||Michigan legislature has control|
- 1 Sessions
- 2 Ethics and transparency
- 3 Elections
- 4 Redistricting
- 5 Representatives
- 6 Standing committees
- 7 History
- 8 External links
- 9 References
As of February 2015, Michigan is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Article IV of the Michigan Constitution establishes when the Michigan Legislature, of which the House of Representatives 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 2015 state legislative sessions
In 2015, the Legislature is projected to be in session from January 14 through December 31.
- See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
In 2014, the Legislature was 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 House was in session from January 11 to December 27.
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 planned to 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 held the income tax rate at 4.35 percent until January 1, 2013, when it decreased to 4.25 percent. During 2011, Michigan also became the first state in more than 50 years to cut state-level unemployment benefits.
Role in state budget
- See also: Michigan state budget
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
- State agencies submit their requests to the governor in November.
- Agency hearings are held in December.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in February.
- The legislature typically adopts a budget in June or July. The fiscal year begins October 1.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the state legislature is legally required to adopt a balanced budget.
The Pew-MacArthur Results First Initiative released a report in July 2013 which indicated that cost-benefit analysis in policymaking led to more effective uses of public funds. Looking at data from 2008 through 2011, the study's authors found that some states were more likely to use cost-benefit analysis while others were facing challenges and lagging behind the rest of the nation. Among the challenges states faced were a lack of time, money and technical skills needed to conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analyses. Michigan was one of 29 states with mixed results regarding the frequency and effectiveness in its use of cost-benefit analysis.
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 in April 2014. The report, entitled "Following the Money," measured how transparent and accountable state websites are with regard to state government spending. According to the report, Michigan received a grade of B and a numerical score of 86.5, indicating that Michigan was "advancing" 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.
Elections for the office of Michigan House of Representatives took place in 2014. A primary election was held on August 5, 2014, and a general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was April 22, 2014.
The signature filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in these elections was May 12, 2012.
The following table details the 10 districts with the smallest margin of victory in the November 6 general election.
|2012 Margin of Victory, Alaska House of Representatives|
|District||Winner||Margin of Victory||Total Votes||Top Opponent|
|District 91||Collene Lamonte||0.8%||40,037||Holly Hughes|
|District 41||Martin Howrylak||0.9%||46,381||Mary Kerwin|
|District 23||Pat Somerville||1%||45,181||Tom Boritzki|
|District 63||Jase Bolger||1.7%||43,636||Bill Farmer|
|District 101||Ray Franz||2.1%||49,373||Allen O'Shea|
|District 25||Henry Yanez||2.9%||40,388||Sean Clark|
|District 110||Scott Dianda||3.2%||38,751||Matt Huuki|
|District 57||Nancy Jenkins||5%||40,285||Jim Berryman|
|District 103||Bruce Rendon||5.6%||44,140||Lon Johnson|
|District 52||Gretchen Driskell||6%||50,257||Mark Ouimet|
Elections for seats in the Michigan House of Representatives were held 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, candidates running for state house raised a total of $17,146,452 in campaign contributions. The top 10 donors were:
|2010 Donors, Michigan House of Representatives|
|Michigan House Democratic Fund||$2,999,067|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte of Michigan||$578,118|
|Michigan Education Association||$245,350|
|Michigan Auto Workers||$194,240|
|Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association||$184,882|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan||$141,225|
|Michigan Farm Bureau||$139,250|
|Michigan Automobile Dealers Association||$138,675|
|Michigan Trial Lawyers Association||$130,650|
|Hammel Leadership Fund||$125,250|
Elections for the office of Michigan House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 5, 2008, and a general election on November 4, 2008.
During the 2008 election, the total of contributions to House candidates was $15,640,045. The top 10 contributors were:
|2008 Donors, Michigan House of Representatives|
|Michigan House Republican Campaign Cmte||$444,376|
|Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association||$363,215|
|United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers Of America||$231,800|
|Michigan Association Of Realtors||$227,575|
|Michigan Farm Bureau||$227,350|
|Michigan Education Association||$187,190|
|Michigan Chamber Of Commerce||$175,748|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Michigan||$175,150|
|Michigan House Democratic Fund||$171,527|
|Michigan Automobile Dealers Association||$165,780|
Elections for the office of Michigan House of Representatives 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 House candidates was $16,212,812. The top 10 contributors were:
|2006 Donors, Michigan House of Representatives|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte Of Michigan||$2,013,123|
|Michigan House Democratic Fund||$1,979,490|
|Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association||$297,909|
|United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers Of America||$234,850|
|Michigan Education Association||$230,750|
|Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Michigan||$215,050|
|Michigan Association Of Realtors||$187,880|
|Michigan Bankers Association||$181,744|
|Michigan Auto Dealers Association||$149,525|
Elections for the office of Michigan House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 3, 2004, and a general election on November 2, 2004.
During the 2004 election, the total of contributions to House candidates was $16,209,181. The top 10 contributors were:
|2004 Donors, Michigan House of Representatives|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte Of Michigan||$843,810|
|Michigan House Democratic Fund||$576,406|
|Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association||$295,191|
|United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers Of America||$220,425|
|Michigan Association Of Realtors||$209,900|
|Michigan Education Association||$153,635|
|Michigan Auto Dealers Association||$151,800|
|Michigan Trial Lawyers Association||$149,400|
Elections for the office of Michigan House of Representatives 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 House candidates was $12,625,867. The top 10 contributors were:
|2002 Donors, Michigan House of Representatives|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte Of Michigan||$393,307|
|Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association||$217,992|
|United Automobile Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers Of America||$158,000|
|Michigan Association Of Realtors||$150,967|
|Michigan Education Association||$144,514|
|Michigan Trial Lawyers Association||$141,325|
|Michigan Auto Dealers Association||$128,500|
|International Brotherhood Of Electrical Workers||$98,740|
Elections for the office of Michigan House of Representatives consisted of a primary election on August 8, 2000, and a general election on November 7, 2000.
During the 2000 election, the total of contributions to House candidates was $9,383,446. The top 10 contributors were:
|2000 Donors, Michigan House of Representatives|
|House Republican Campaign Cmte Of Michigan||$793,775|
|Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association||$156,612|
|Michigan Association Of Realtors||$119,309|
|Raczkowski Leadership Fund||$112,035|
|Detroit Auto Dealers Association||$102,500|
|McCotter Majority Fund||$90,000|
|Ken Sikkema Leadership Fund||$88,350|
|Adkins, Burl C||$84,135|
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 house, 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 representatives are subject to term limits of no more than three two-year terms, or a total of six years.
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.
A coalition of advocacy groups sued, alleging that the House plan was discriminatory. The plaintiffs asserted that up to 35 percent of all minority House members statewide could lose their seats as a result of the plan, and that specific voting blocks were split, diluting their influence. A three-judge panel dismissed the suit.
- 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 houses
|Party||As of February 2015|
The Speaker of the House is the presiding officer of the body and is elected by its membership. The Speaker appoints the Speaker Pro Tempore and all committees. Other duties of the Speaker include preserving order and decorum and deciding points of order.
The Michigan House of Representatives has 19 standing committees:
- Criminal Justice
- Elections and Ethics
- Energy and Technology
- Families, Children, and Seniors
- Financial Liability Reform
- Financial Services
- Government Operations
- Health Policy
- Local Government
- Michigan Competitiveness
- Military and Veterans Affairs
- Natural Resources
- Regulatory Reform
- Tax Policy
- Transportation and Infrastructure
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, the Republican Party was the majority in the Michigan House of Representatives for 13 years while the Democrats were the majority for seven years. For the final three years of the study Michigan was under Republican trifectas.
Across the country, there were 577 Democratic and 483 Republican State Houses of Representatives 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 Michigan 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
- Official website of the Michigan House of Representatives
- Michigan House Democratic Caucus
- Michigan House Republican Caucus
- census.gov, "Population Distribution and Change: 2000 to 2010," accessed May 15, 2014
- U.S. Census Bureau, "States Ranked by Population," April 2, 2001
- michiganinbrief.org, "Term limits," accessed December 17, 2013
- MLive, "Q&A with Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof: Energy policy, prevailing wage repeal on agenda," January 20, 2015
- MLive, "Michigan Republicans making new push for prevailing wage repeal in state Legislature," January 15, 2015
- Crain's Detroit Business, "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 (Archived)
- Michigan Legislature, "House Official Journal 2012," accessed September 3, 2014
- Michigan Legislature, "Senate Official Journal 2011," accessed September 3, 2014
- Michigan Legislature, "House Official Journal 2011," accessed September 3, 2014
- Stateline.org, "States balance budgets with cuts, not taxes," June 15, 2011 (Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "2010 Legislative Session Calendar," accessed September 3, 2014 (Archived)
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Pew Charitable Trusts, "States’ Use of Cost-Benefit Analysis," July 29, 2013
- 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 2010 - Candidates," accessed September 4, 2014
- Follow the Money, "Michigan 2008 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Michigan 2006 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Michigan 2004 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Michigan 2002 - Candidates," accessed August 23, 2013
- Follow the Money, "Michigan 2000 - 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", December 22, 2010
- The Detroit News, "Black caucus preps for Michigan redistricting," March 25, 2011 (dead link)
- Livingston Daily, "Public could get early peek at district lines," May 18, 2011 (dead link)
- Huffington Post, "Michigan Redistricting Spurs Joint Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination," Michigan 8, 2011
- NPR, "Judges dismiss challenge to Michigan House redistricting," March 23, 2012
- NCSL.org, "2012 State Legislator Compensation and Per Diem Table," accessed March 18, 2013
- Michigan Legislature, "Standing Rules of the Michigan House of Representatives," accessed September 4, 2014
- Michigan House of Representatives, "House Leadership," accessed September 4, 2014
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