Lansing Update
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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
November 9, 2018

  In This Special Election Update:  
  • Michiganders Choose New Leadership for State Government
  • State Voters Return Incumbent to U.S. Senate 
  • Michigan Congressional Delegation Shifts to 7-7 Split
  • Proposal 1 Passes, Legalizes Recreational Marijuana in State
  • Redistricting and Voting Measures Widely Approved by Michigan Voters
  • Two New Members of the State Board of Education Chosen
  • One Incumbent, One Challenger Head to Michigan Supreme Court
  • Republicans Retain Control of Michigan Legislature, Democrats Gain Seats
  • "Lame Duck" Session Begins for Michigan Legislature
On Tuesday, November 6, Michiganders elected public officials to represent their interests at the local, state, and federal levels beginning in January. Voters also weighed in on three statewide ballot proposals. This Special Election Update details the results of the 2018 election below. Note: Michigan Catholic Conference looks forward to working with all interested officials-on both sides of the aisle-to promote public policy that benefits the common good of this state. 
  Michiganders Choose New Leadership for State Government  
At the top of the ticket, Michigan voters chose former State Senate Majority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D) as their new governor and Garlin Gilchrist (D) as their new lieutenant governor. Democrats Dana Nessel and Jocelyn Benson will take their places as Attorney General and Secretary of State next year. 
  State Voters Return Incumbent to U.S. Senate  
Michigan voters re-elected incumbent Senator Debbie Stabenow (D) to the U.S. Senate over challenger John James (R). She and Gary Peters (D), whose seat was not up for re-election this year, will continue to serve as Michigan's senators in January 2019.
  Michigan Congressional Delegation Shifts to 7-7 Split  
Ten incumbents will return to Washington D.C. as members of the U.S. House of Representatives: Representatives Jack Bergman (R-1st District), Bill Huizenga (R-2nd District), Justin Amash (R-3rd District), John Moolenaar (R- 4th District), Dan Kildee (D- 5th District), Fred Upton (R- 6th District), Tim Walberg (R- 7th District), Paul Mitchell (R-10th District), Debbie Dingell (D-12th District), and Brenda Lawrence (D-14th District). Newly-elected Representatives Elissa Slotkin (8th District), Andy Levin (D-9th District), Haley Stevens (11th District), and Rashida Tlaib (D-13th District) will join them in Congress. To fill the partial term in the 13th district from now until the next legislative session starts in January, voters chose Ms. Brenda Jones. The seat has been vacant since Representative John Conyers resigned in December 2017. With this election, the Michigan Congressional delegation shifts from a 9-5 Republican majority to a 7-7 split. 
  Proposal 1 Passes, Legalizes Recreational Marijuana in State  
Proposal 1, the ballot measure that legalizes recreational marijuana in Michigan, passed by a 54.95% to 45.05% vote on Tuesday evening. Michigan Catholic Conference opposed the measure's passage and joined the ballot committee Healthy and Productive Michigan to provide voter education on the harmful impacts of Proposal 1. Healthy and Productive Michigan issued the following statement after passage: 

"Obviously the results of the election were not what we hoped for. While our side lost last night, it is important to recognize the level of responsibility that now rests on the shoulders of those who have voted Yes. By legalizing recreational marijuana, we are giving permission to the product everywhere throughout our great state. Now is a time for vigilance among citizens - in every community. Our committee will urge and support local communities who have a desire to opt out and actively explore all legislative, policy, and legal options. We will continue to educate Michigan citizens on the harms of marijuana commercialization."
  Redistricting and Voting Measures Widely Approved by Michigan Voters  
Statewide Proposals 2 and 3 also passed this week, by a 59.85 to 40.13 percent vote and 65.13 to 34.87 percent vote respectively. Proposal 2 will establish, in Michigan's Constitution, a commission of citizens. Every 10 years, this Commission will have the exclusive authority to adopt district boundaries for the Michigan Senate, Michigan House of Representatives and U.S. Congress. Proposal 3 will authorize automatic and Election Day voter registration, no-reason absentee voting, and straight ticket voting; and add current legal requirements for military and overseas voting and post-election audits to the Michigan Constitution.
  Two New Members of the State Board of Education Chosen  
On Tuesday, two new members of the eight-member State Board of Education were elected: Democrats Judy Pritchett and Tiffany Tilley. The political make-up of the Board now shifts from a 4-4 Democrat/Republican split to a 6-2 Democrat majority. One of the immediate responsibilities of the State Board of Education is to elect a new State Superintendent. The previous superintendent, Mr. Brian Whiston, passed away earlier this year. The State Board of Education also provides recommendations to improve public education in this state.
  One Incumbent, One Challenger Head to Michigan Supreme Court  
Voters selected incumbent Michigan Supreme Court Justice Beth Clement to return for another term on the State Supreme Court along with newly-elected Justice Megan Cavanagh. These two women join Chief Justice Stephen Markman and Justices Brian Zahra, Bridget McCormack, David Viviano, and Richard Bernstein on the bench.
  Republicans Retain Control of Michigan Legislature, Democrats Gain Seats  
The Michigan House of Representatives will remain in Republican control during the 2019-2020 legislative session, albeit by a smaller 58-52 margin than the current Legislature. This week, Representative Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) was chosen by the Republican Caucus to become the Speaker of the House next session. He will be formally elected when the new Legislature meets in January. In other leadership posts, House Republicans and Democrats chose Representative Triston Cole (R-Mancelona) as Majority Floor Leader, Representative Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) as Minority Leader, and Representative Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) as Minority Floor Leader. 

Democrats also gained seats in the State Senate, although the Republicans remain the majority party by a 22-16 split. This week, Senate Republicans and Democrats chose their leaders for the next legislative term, including Senator Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) as Senate Majority Leader, Senator Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford) as Majority Floor Leader, Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland) as the Appropriations Committee Chair, Senator Jim Ananich (D-Flint) as Senate Minority Leader, Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) as Minority Floor Leader, and Senator Curtis Hertel Jr (D-East Lansing) as the Appropriations Committee Minority Vice Chair. 

View your local results here.
  "Lame Duck" Session Begins for Michigan Legislature  
Following the November election and lasting through the end of the year, the Michigan Legislature will move into its "Lame Duck" period. At the conclusion of these two months, the 2017-2018 legislative session will also be finished. All legislation that has not passed both chambers at that time will "die" and will have to be reintroduced next year if a legislator cares to continue working on the issue. Some years, "Lame Duck" is fast-paced, finishing legislative priorities for the session or considering contentious legislative issues not addressed before the election. In other years, leadership decides not to rush issues and the schedule remains rather light. During "Lame Duck," Michigan Catholic Conference will continue to advocate for the passage of policies that promote the common good and protect the vulnerable. 

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Michigan Catholic Conference, 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933 Michigan Catholic Conference: The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan Phone: (517) 372-9310, Fax: (517) 372-3940,