Difference between revisions of "Michigan State Legislature"

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}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Michigan Legislature''' is the [[State legislature|state legislature]] of [[Michigan]]. It is organized as a [[bicameral]] institution consisting of the [[Michigan Senate]], the [[upper house]], and the [[Michigan House of Representatives|House of Representatives]], the [[lower house]]. Article IV of the [[Michigan Constitution]], adopted in 1963, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. The Michigan Legislature meets in the Capitol in Lansing, Michigan.
 
}}{{TOCnestright}}The '''Michigan Legislature''' is the [[State legislature|state legislature]] of [[Michigan]]. It is organized as a [[bicameral]] institution consisting of the [[Michigan Senate]], the [[upper house]], and the [[Michigan House of Representatives|House of Representatives]], the [[lower house]]. Article IV of the [[Michigan Constitution]], adopted in 1963, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. The Michigan Legislature meets in the Capitol in Lansing, Michigan.
  
As of December 2012, [[Michigan]] is one of 24 Republican [[state government trifectas]].
+
As of May 2013, [[Michigan]] is one of 24 Republican [[state government trifectas]].
 
==Sessions==
 
==Sessions==
 
The Michigan Legislature, according to [[Article IV, Michigan Constitution#Section 13|Article 4 Section 13 of the Michigan constitution]], must convene by noon on the second Wednesday in January.  The Legislature is at liberty to choose when to adjourn, though all bills carry over into the next session.
 
The Michigan Legislature, according to [[Article IV, Michigan Constitution#Section 13|Article 4 Section 13 of the Michigan constitution]], must convene by noon on the second Wednesday in January.  The Legislature is at liberty to choose when to adjourn, though all bills carry over into the next session.

Revision as of 07:28, 13 May 2013

Michigan State Legislature

Seal of Michigan.png
General Information
Type:   State legislature
Term limits:   2 terms (8 years) in Senate, 3 terms (6 years) in House
2014 session start:   January 9, 2013
Website:   Official Legislature Page
Leadership
Senate President:   Brian Calley (R)
House Speaker:  Jase Bolger (R)
Majority Leader:   Randy Richardville (R) (Senate),
Jim Stamas (R) (House)
Minority leader:   Gretchen Whitmer (D) (Senate),
Richard Hammel (D) (House)
Structure
Members:  38 (Senate), 110 (House)
Length of term:   4 years (Senate), 2 years (House)
Authority:   Art IV, Michigan Constitution
Salary:   $71,685/year + expenses
Elections
Last Election:  November 6, 2012 110 seats (House)
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Redistricting:  Michigan Legislature has control
The Michigan Legislature is the state legislature of Michigan. It is organized as a bicameral institution consisting of the Michigan Senate, the upper house, and the House of Representatives, the lower house. Article IV of the Michigan Constitution, adopted in 1963, defines the role of the legislature and how it is to be constituted. The Michigan Legislature meets in the Capitol in Lansing, Michigan.

As of May 2013, Michigan is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.

Sessions

The Michigan Legislature, according to Article 4 Section 13 of the Michigan constitution, must convene by noon on the second Wednesday in January. The Legislature is at liberty to choose when to adjourn, though all bills carry over into the next session.

2013

See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions

In 2013, the Legislature will be in session from January 9 through December 31 (estimated).

Major issues

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.[1]

2012

See also: Dates of 2012 state legislative sessions

In 2012, the Legislature was in session from January 11 though a date yet to be determined.

2011

In 2011, the Legislature will be in session from January 12 through mid December. A specific date is yet to be decided by the Legislature. [2] The 348 calendar days that the Michigan Legislature is in session during 2011 is the longest legislative session in the country.[3]

Session highlights

Tax reform

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. [4]

Snyder was also able to secure a controversial measure to extend the state's income tax to pensions, a move the governor said would bring $343 million in new revenue during the coming fiscal year. Public employees, who stand to lose about $90 million of the $343 million total, reacted with outrage. The Michigan State Employees Association promised to file a lawsuit to block the pension tax provision, arguing that taxing state employee pensions violated the constitutional prohibition against "impairing or diminishing a vested public pension." Snyder beat employees to the punch, asking the state supreme court to issue an advisory opinion on the issue by October 1.[5]

2010

In 2010, the Legislature convened its session on January 13th, and it remained in session throughout the year.[6]

Senate

The Senate is the upper house of the Legislature. Its members are elected on a partisan basis for four-year terms concurrent with the election of the governor of Michigan. The Senate consists of 38 members elected from single-member election districts. Each member represents an average of 260,096 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[7] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 261,538.[8] Senators' terms begin at noon on January 1 following their election. The Senate chamber in the State Capitol is located in the south wing of the building. Following the 2010 elections, Republicans held a majority of seats in the Senate with 26; Democrats held 12 seats. Under the Michigan Constitution, the lieutenant governor of Michigan serves as President of the Senate but may only cast a vote in the instance of a tie. The Senate selects its other officers and adopts its own rules of procedure at the start of a new legislative session.


Party As of July 2014
     Democratic Party 12
     Republican Party 26
Total 38


House of Representatives

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the Legislature. Its members are elected on a partisan basis for two-year terms at the same time at which members of Congress are chosen. The House of Representatives consists of 110 members who are elected from single-member election districts. Each member represents an average of 89,851 residents, as of the 2010 Census.[9] After the 2000 Census, each member represented 90,349.[10] Representatives' terms begin at noon on January 1 following their election. The House of Representatives chamber in the Capitol is located in the north wing of the building. Following the November 2, 2010 election, Republicans took control of the House, winning 63 seats, while the Democrats won 47. The House of Representatives selects its own Speaker of the House and other officers and adopts its rules of procedure at the start of a new legislative session.

Party As of July 2014
     Democratic Party 50
     Republican Party 59
     Independent 1
Total 110

Redistricting

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.

2010

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Michigan's population fell from 9.94 million to 9.88 million between 2000 and 2010.[11] Michigan's U.S. Congressional delegation decreased in size from 15 to 14 seats.[12] A substantial population shift occurred from Detroit proper into the suburban areas.[13]

The state legislature undertook a relatively private redistricting process.[14] 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 State House of Representatives plan was discriminatory, but a three-judge panel dismissed the case.[15][16]

Legislators

Salaries

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.[17]

Terms and sessions

Every two years the entire House of Representatives stands for election, whereas the Senate does so at four-year intervals concurrently with elections for Governor. For reckoning periods of time during which the legislature operates, each two-year period coinciding with the election of new members of the House of Representatives is numbered consecutively as a "Legislature" dating to the first legislature following Michigan's admission as a state.

Each year during which the legislature meets constitutes a "session" of the Legislature. According to the state's constitution, Article IV Section 13, a new session of the legislature begins when the members of each house convene on the second Wednesday of January every year at noon. A regular session of the Legislature typically lasts throughout the entire year with several periods of recess and adjourns sine die in December.

There is no minimum or maximum number of days for which a session of the Legislature must meet each year. Although there is no universal definition as to what constitutes a full-time legislature, the Michigan Legislature is one of only eleven full-time state legislatures in the nation.[18]Michigan's legislators receive a base salary of $79,650 per year which makes them the second-highest paid legislators in the nation, after California. Legislators also receive a $1,000 per month per diem in addition to their base salary. [19] Unlike those states which are considered to have a part-time legislature and whose members are paid only for actual days in session, Michigan's legislators are paid an annual salary regardless of the number of meeting days and are considered to be full-time.

Any legislation pending in either house at the end of a session that is not the end of a legislative term of office continues and carries over to the next legislative session.

Term limits

The electors of the State of Michigan adopted an amendment to the Michigan Constitution in 1992, Section 54 of Article IV, which became effective in 1993. This amendment limits the length of time any individual may serve as a member of the Legislature. Pursuant to this amendment, one may not be elected to the state senate more than two times or to the state house of representatives more than three times. The result of this is that there is now considerable turnover in membership in both houses of the legislature. Formerly, many seats were held by the same office holder, sometimes for decades. Although measures to repeal the term limits amendment have been introduced in both houses since it took effect, none of them have yet reached a vote on the floor of either house or received serious deliberation in the legislature.

Unicameral petition drive

An unsuccessful effort to collect petition signatures was launched in January 2006 by Unicameral Michigan, a ballot question committee registered with the State of Michigan, to provide for an amendment to the state's constitution to change from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature. It failed to qualify for the November 2006 ballot. If the amendment had succeeded, Michigan would have become only the second U.S. state, after Nebraska, to have a single-chambered state legislature.

Joint legislative committees

The Michigan State Legislature has no joint standing committees.

External links

References