LANSING – The Michigan House of Representatives has finished work for the year after House Speaker Joe Tate (D-Detroit) adjourned early yesterday. Last week, democrats, who control both chambers of congress for the first time in 40 years, lost their majority in the house when two of their representatives won mayoral races in their cities. Minority Leader Matt Hall (R-Richland Township) suggests the early dismissal is because democrats have no interest in “shared power.”
In interviews in the Detroit Free Press, Tate and Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) said they were rewarding legislators for “an incredibly productive year” that saw major controversial legislative advancements in abortion rights, changes to election laws, gun control, and what Republicans have called “Michigan’s Green New Deal.” Brinks has also adjourned the state senate.
House Minority Leader posted on X a different perspective: “This week, Democrats lost their majority. Today, the speaker took his gavel and went home. After Democrats’ two-month Christmas vacation, I hope they’ll come back to work in January and come to the table so we can deliver the results Michiganders deserve.”
The two representatives who won their mayoral races are Kevin Coleman and Lori Stone. Their empty seats will leave a 54-54 balance between Democrats and Republicans in the house. The seats will be filled by special election, the dates of which have not yet been announced.
An additional motivation in early adjournment is to provide a 90 day wait time for the change in this year’s primary election, promoted aggressively by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, to take effect. The 90 day wait time was necessary for the change to take effect after Senate Democrats, including Senator Kevin Daley (R-Lapeer), voted down the change. According to state law, the house now has 90 days to vote down the change after it failed in the senate. Adjournment prevents House Republicans from maneuvering to get a vote on the issue.