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  • Gov. Whitmer Signed A Bill Expanding Absentee Voting For Overseas Residents And Members Of The Military. “Absentee voter ballots filed by residents overseas and members of the military will be counted if received up to six days after an election, according to a newly-signed law. Governor Gretchen Whitmer put her signature to the latest election bill to move through the Michigan legislature, signing SB 259 into office Monday. The bill brings Michigan’s election law up to date with the state’s constitution, which was amended last year after voters passed a ballot measure that expanded absentee voting.” [Fox 2 Detroit, 5/2/23]
  • House Democrats Passed Legislation Allowing 16-Year-Olds To Preregister To Vote. “Supporters of the bill say lowering the age for preregistration (which does not allow people under 18 to actually vote) prepares young adults to participate sooner and more actively in democracy. Election officials say it also eases the registration process later, enabling smoother voting overall. State Rep. Betsy Coffia, D-Traverse City, introduced House Bill 4569 last week. She said she was encouraged by municipal clerks who say it would ‘increase the likelihood’ of more ‘robust’ participation of young people in elections over time.” [Bridge Michigan, 5/30/23; Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4569, Passed by the House, 6/27/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Introduced The Michigan Voting Rights Act, A Package Of Bills Aimed At Clarifying Voter Protections And Combatting Disinformation. “Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson today announced the introduction of the Michigan Voting Rights Act to mirror and expand upon the federal Voting Rights Act, which has been weakened in recent years. […] Benson shared that the Michigan Voting Rights Act (MVRA) was introduced yesterday in the Michigan Senate. Senate Bills 401-404 were sponsored by Sens. Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton), Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) and Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield). The MVRA would build on the federal Voting Rights Act while adding new protections at the state level.” [Michigan Department of State, 6/23/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed A Package Of Bills Expanding Early And Absentee Voting. “At the November 2022 state general election, Michigan voters overwhelmingly approved a voting rights constitutional amendment known as Proposition 2022-2 (‘Prop 2’). Prop 2 enshrined in the Michigan Constitution the right to vote early in every statewide and federal election, a permanent absentee voting list, expansion of acceptable voter identification, absentee voter improvements, and extended deadlines for military and overseas ballots. These rights require sweeping changes in election administration. The Michigan Legislature has passed a package of election-related bills implementing these changes and providing guidance to local clerks. Certain aspects of the bills go beyond Prop 2’s constitutional mandates, including new provisions allowing faster reporting of absent voter ballot results through tabulation before the polls close on Election Day and criminal penalties for disclosing results early.” [JDSupra, 7/5/23]
    • Gov. Whitmer Signed The Legislation. “New election laws laying the groundwork for Michigan to hold its first elections under a new set of rules approved by voters who adopted an amendment to the state constitution last fall allowing early voting, codifying current voter ID laws and enabling voters to automatically receive absentee ballots for all future elections were approved by the governor Tuesday. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a series of bills implementing Proposal 2, the wide-ranging elections amendment voters who participated in last year’s midterms approved with 60% support.” [Detroit Free Press, 7/19/23]


  • House Democrats Introduced Legislation To Provide Income Tax Credits To Employees Who Pay Union Dues To A Labor Organization. [HB4235, Michigan Legislature, introduced 3/9/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed Legislation To Expand The State’s Earned Income Tax Credit And Alter Retirement Income Taxes, Bringing Back Exemptions For Public Pensions. [The Detroit News, 1/26/23; Michigan Legislature, HB4001, approved by the Governor 3/7/23]
    • The Governor Signed The Legislation. “‘A single bill 12 years ago dealt a critical blow to people’s finances,’ Whitmer said at a signing ceremony. ‘Seniors had money that was promised to them taken out of their hands. Working families who were a missed paycheck away from poverty had a lifeline pulled away. It was wrong then and today we are making it right.’” [Detroit Free Press, 3/7/23]
  • Gov. Whitmer Signed The First Piece Of Legislation From The New Democratic Legislature, A Budget Bill That Will Provide Funding For Small Businesses, Affordable Housing, Community Revitalization Grants, And More. “Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a $1.1 billion supplemental spending bill Tuesday that will send federal COVID-19 relief funds across the state for business and housing programs, give $200 million to a paper mill in Escanaba and create a new water shutoff prevention fund.” [Detroit Free Press, 1/31/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Were Unable To Get Enough Support From Republican Lawmakers To Pass Inflation Relief Rebate Checks. “Senate Democrats, who hold a 20-18 majority, failed on Tuesday to get the 26-vote supermajority support needed to have the bill take effect earlier. Without two-thirds backing for immediate effect, the measure takes effect in 2024, too late for the rebate checks. ‘It’s unfortunate those won’t be going out,’ Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, told reporters Tuesday night. ‘We were hoping we would be able to get Republican support for that. But unfortunately, they were unwilling to do so.’” [The Detroit News, 3/1/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed A $75 Million Small Business Relief Fund. “Michigan small businesses devastated by state COVID lockdown restrictions can apply to tap a one-time $75 million fund from federal taxpayers. In February, the Michigan legislature passed into law the $75 million Small Business Smart Zones and Business Accelerators initiative. The fund is a one-time appropriation using American Rescue Plan Act funds to support small businesses disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to announce the new program. In Michigan, small business growth has surged with 137,000 new small business applications submitted in 2022, partly caused by a flood of businesses permanently closing during the pandemic.” [The Center Square, 6/27/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed And Gov. Whitmer Signed A Bill Removing Asset Tests For Food Aid. “Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill into law Wednesday that will remove asset tests for food assistance eligibility, a requirement that was put in place under Republican former Gov. Rick Snyder. Michigan is the 36th state to eliminate the asset test for food assistance, cash assistance or emergency relief. The benchmark was eased but not completely eliminated by Whitmer in 2019 through administrative powers. The legislation signed Wednesday, which passed the Senate 25-13 and the House 56-53, eliminates the asset test requirement altogether. ‘Food benefits must be accessible for Michiganders who need them without illogical tradeoffs,’ Whitmer said in a statement Wednesday. ‘I am proud to get this done and grateful for all the organizations, advocates, and legislators — including Senator Irwin — who fought hard to make it happen.’” [The Detroit News, 7/12/23]


  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed A Bill That Would Roll Back An Existing Policy Stating Students Who Are Not Reading At Grade Level By Third Grade Should Be Held Back. The bill is supported by the K-12 Alliance of Michigan. [Michigan Radio, 1/19/23; Michigan Legislature, SB0012, ordered enrolled 3/8/23]
    • Gov. Whitmer Signed The Legislation. “‘I am happy to see the Governor sign Senate Bill 12 to finally repeal the harmful retention aspect of the Read by Grade Three Law,’ said State Representative Nate Shannon (D-Sterling Heights). ‘Rather than being reactive, let’s be proactive in our approach to kids and literacy.  Retention has been a constant threat hanging over our students’ heads. We could use the resources that are spent on retaining students and put that towards more literacy coaches, reading intervention specialists, and provide afterschool and summer school programs to address the issue.’” [Press Releases, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, 3/24/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed And Gov. Whitmer Signed A Bill To Change How Public Schools Are Ranked. “Introduced by state Rep. Matt Koleszar, D-Plymouth, House Bill 4166 would revise 1976 PA 451 to eliminate the requirement for the Michigan Department of Education to assign letter grades to public schools based on student performance. Under the current law, the MDOE is required to annually rank Michigan public schools by Sept. 1 on a variety of metrics and implement accountability measures for schools ranked in the bottom 5%. If the bill is signed into law, the MDOE would rank schools on a list of individual metrics instead of assigning an overall letter grade. […] When introducing the bill, Koleszar said the current law too heavily generalizes school performance across the state. ‘The A through F system has also been criticized by many school officials, citing that it is too simplistic and could unfairly hit schools with a bad grade overall when the school is improving in some areas,’ Koleszar said. ‘It is also argued that the system is overly general.’” [The Michigan Daily, 4/30/23; Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4166, Approved by the Governor, 5/22/23]


  • The Michigan House Passed A Package Of Bills Requiring Safe Storage Of Guns. “The Democratic-led Michigan House on Wednesday passed legislation requiring the safe storage of firearms.  The legislative package, which consisted of four Senate bills and four House bills, passed with varying support from Republicans. The House and Senate have passed other gun reform bills in recent weeks in the wake of the Feb. 13 mass shooting at Michigan State University. House Bills 4144 and 4139 would require unattended firearms to be safely stored if accessible by a minor and update the sentencing guidelines, respectively, while House Bills 4141 and 4140 would remove sales and use taxes from firearm safety device purchases, such as safes, lock boxes and trigger and barrel locks, through the end of 2024.” [Michigan Advance, 3/23/23]
    • Gov. Whitmer Signed The Bills Into Law. “The new laws, which take effect next year, will expand background check requirements for firearm purchases and institute storage standards for guns kept in homes where children are present. ‘All of these initiatives are supported by a majority of Michiganders,’ Whitmer said. ‘I’ve gotten letters from all across our state asking for us to get this done.’” [The Detroit News, 4/13/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed A “Red Flag” Bill, Sending It To The Governor’s Desk. “Michigan Democrats in the state Legislature took the final step to pass gun safety measures Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked for at the start of the year with votes on bills to establish a so-called ‘red flag’ law, empowering courts to temporarily remove guns from those posing a danger to themselves or others. Whitmer last week signed into law the two other parts of the trio of legislation she demanded to curb gun violence in Michigan: legislation to expand background checks to all firearm purchases and create penalties for those who fail to keep guns out of the hands of children.” [Detroit Free Press, 4/19/23]
    • Gov. Whitmer Signed The Bill Into Law. “Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave final approval Monday afternoon to a red flag law that aims to keep firearms away from those at risk of harming themselves or others as the state grapples with ways to slow gun violence in the wake of its second mass school shooting. Michigan joined Minnesota as the second state in under a week to implement a red flag law after Democrats in both states won control of both chambers and the governor’s office in November. New Mexico previously was the last state to pass a red flag law in 2020.” [PBS, 5/22/23]

Health Care 

  • A Bill To Cap Prescription Insulin Drugs At $50 For Each 30-Day Supply Has Been Introduced by House Democrats. [Michigan Legislature, HB4015, introduced 1/12/23]
  • A Bill To Require Insurers To Provide Coverage For Mental Health And Substance Use Services Was Introduced By Senate Democrats. [Michigan Legislature, SB0027, introduced 1/18/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Introduced A Package Of Bills To Improve Working Conditions For Nurses. “Nurses and lawmakers are hoping a three-bill package will move forward in the Michigan Legislature soon. If passed, the Safe Care Patient Act would set nurse to patient rations, demand staffing transparency from hospitals and end mandatory nurse overtime.” [WoodTV, 5/14/23; Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4550-4552, introduced 5/11/23]
  • House Democrats Introduced Legislation To Ensure Copays Are Counted Towards Health Insurance Deductibles. “‘Unfortunately a growing number of insurance companies and PBMs or pharmacy benefit managers are using copay adjustment accumulator programs that prohibit the value of this assistance from applying to a patient’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum for the year,’ said [Rep. Carrie] Rheingans.” [CBS, 6/6/23; Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4719, introduced 6/8/23]


  • Democratic Lawmakers In Both Chambers Introduced Bill Packages That Would Allow Immigrants To Obtain Drivers Licenses. “The Michigan legislature recently reintroduced a bill package that would allow all Michigan residents, regardless of immigration status, to obtain a driver’s license or identification card. […] Under the bills introduced in the state House and Senate– Senate Bills 265, 266, and 267 and House Bills 4410, 4411, and 4412– they would only have to be a Michigan resident, and authorities would not consider their citizenship or immigration status. The laws would also forbid the secretary of state from sharing any of applicants’ information with immigration enforcement.” [M Live, 4/18/23, Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4410-4412, introduced 4/13/23]


  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed A Package Of Bills Repealing Laws Limiting Teacher Unions Collective Bargaining Powers. “Firstly, House Bill 4354 would remove the ban against certain subjects being included in a collective bargaining agreement between a public-school and the union. More specifically, House Bill 4356 and House Bill 4357 would allow the decision to contract with a third party for non-instructional services to be used during collective bargaining and delete prohibitions stating a school district from entering a collective bargaining agreement that automatically deducts union dues from an employee’s pay. House Bill 4044 would repeal current state statute requiring a public employer to provide employees with pay and benefits in the midst of a collective bargaining agreement. Additionally, House Bill 4233 would delete a prohibition against a school from using school resources to assist a labor organization in collecting dues or service fees from the wages of school employees.” [M Live, 7/10/23]
  • The Democratic-Controlled Legislature Passed Legislation To Repeal Right-To-Work Laws. “The Michigan Legislature has sent Governor Gretchen Whitmer pro-union bills that include repealing the state’s decade-old right-to-work law. Adopting the bills was the fulfillment of a promise made by Democrats and a long-held wish by organized labor since Michigan became a right-to-work state in a rowdy, contentious session in 2012 when Republicans held power in the state Capitol. The 2012 law allows workers to opt out of paying union dues even if their workplace is represented by a union. ‘It’s huge,’ Michigan AFL-CIO President Ron Bieber said of the repeal legislation. ‘It’s huge for the entire labor movement nationally to have a victory for working people and make progress for a change.’” [Michigan Radio, 3/21/23]
    • Gov. Whitmer Signed The Legislation Repealing Right-To-Work. “On March 24, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation repealing Michigan’s right-to-work law for private-sector employees. The legislation had previously passed the Michigan House of Representatives on March 8, and the Michigan Senate on March 21. Both bills passed along party lines.” [SHRM, 3/27/23]

LGBTQ+ Rights

  • Democratic Lawmakers In Both Chambers Passed Legislation To Add Protections For Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity To The ELCRA. “Michigan is poised to include gay and transgender residents among the protected groups of people under the state’s anti-discrimination law, the Elliott Larsen Civil Rights Act, after the Democratic-led House voted to approve the changes. […] The 47-year-old civil rights law currently bars discrimination based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, familial status or marital status. When Republicans controlled the Legislature for the past decade, some of their leaders balked about adding the protections unless religious freedom protections were added for those who opposed homosexuality.” [The Detroit News, 3/8/23; Michigan Legislature, SB0004, approved by Governor 3/20/23]
    • The Governor Signed The Legislation. [Michigan Legislature, SB0004, approved by Governor 3/20/23]
  • House Democrats Passed The Michigan Hate Crimes Act, A Package Of Bills Expanding Who Is Protected Under The Law. “The Michigan House on Tuesday passed a package of bills to reclassify certain offenses as hate crimes and designate the defacement of synagogues, churches or cemeteries as a crime separate from ordinary destruction of property. The Michigan Hate Crime Act, which passed 59-50 in the Democratic-controlled House, would replace Michigan’s 1988 ethnic intimidation law so that more categories of people fall under the law’s protections. The law would expand to include protections based on sex, sexual orientation, age, gender identity or physical or mental disabilities. Religion, ethnicity, and race were already protected under the ethnic intimidation law and would continue to be protected under the hate crime act. The legislation also would expand which actions qualify as a hate crime, from threats or damage of property under the current law, to targeted force, intimidation, threats, bodily injury or damage of personal property.” [The Detroit News, 6/20/23; Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4474-4477, Passed by the House, 6/20/23]
  • Republican Lawmakers Introduced Legislation To Require Sporting Event Rankings And Awards To Be Given On The Basis Of “Biological Sex.” “Legislation in Michigan to require awards and results of athletic events be given ‘consistent with each competitor’s biological sex’ was sent to a legislative committee for consideration this week. A news release from bill sponsor state Rep. Jaime Greene (R-Richmond) said the legislation is meant to protect athletes in the state from being forced to compete against transgender individuals.” [Michigan Advance, 5/16/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Introduced Legislation To Ban Conversion Therapy. “Michigan lawmakers introduced a package of bills Thursday that would prohibit conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ youth. […] The bills, SB 348, SB 349, HB 4616, and HB 4617, would prohibit state-licensed medical providers from performing conversion therapy on youth. They were introduced in the House and Senate by Sen. Mallory McMorrow and Reps Jason Hoskins and Felicia Brabec.” [Fox 2 Detroit, 5/18/23]
    • HB 4616 and HB 4617 Passed The Legislature. “Bills to ban the practice of conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors in Michigan will now advance to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk for signature, after Senate Democrats passed the legislation Tuesday over Republican opposition. House Bills 4616 and 4617, introduced by Reps. Felicia Brabec, D-Pittsfield Township, and Jason Hoskins, D-Southfield, ban licensed mental health professionals in Michigan from practicing conversion therapy on LGBTQ minors. Both bills passed 21-15, with Sen. Mark Huizenga, R-Walker, the lone GOP member to vote with Democrats in favor of each bill.” [Detroit Free Press, 6/28/23; Michigan Legislature, 2023 Sesson, HB 4616-4617, presented to the Governor 7/17/23]
  • House Democrats Passed Legislation To Prohibit Denying Health Insurance On The Basis Of Gender Identity Or Expression Or Sexual Orientation. “State Representative Julie Rogers, D-Kalamazoo, introduced House Bill 4619, which would prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to potential customers on the basis of gender, gender expression or sexual orientation, on May 23. This expands upon Michigan’s current law that prohibits denying insurance based on race, sex, marital status or national origin.” [Michigan Daily, 5/30/23; Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4619, Passed by the House 6/28/23]
  • House Democrats Passed A Bill To Expand Michigan Hate Crime Protections For The LGBTQ+ Community. “House Bill 4474 seeks to expand what constitutes as a hate crime in Michigan as it relates to real or perceived identifying characteristics including race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and more. The bill also outlines the punishments for such crimes. […] House Bill 4474 is among a package of bills that would expand Michigan’s current hate crime law to protect people based on their ‘sexual orientation,’ ‘gender identity or expression,’ ‘physical or mental disability,’ and ‘age.’” [ClickOn Detroit, 7/10/23; Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4474, Passed by the House, 6/20/23]

Reproductive Rights

  • After The Passage Of Proposal 3 Which Made Abortion A Constitutional Right In Michigan, Democratic Legislators Have Passed Proposals To Repeal Additional Abortion Restrictions. “The Michigan House voted Thursday to repeal the state’s 1931 abortion ban in a move that proponents contended reflects the will of a majority of voters who supported enshrining abortion rights in Michigan’s constitution last fall. The bill, which passed 58-50 with the support of two Republicans, comes about four months after Michigan residents voted 57% to 43% in favor of a constitutional amendment that enshrined the right to abortion and reproductive rights in Michigan’s constitution.” [The Detroit News, 3/2/23]
    • Gov. Whitmer Signed HB 4006 And HB 4032, Repealing The State’s Abortion Ban And Criminal Penalties. [Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4006, Approved by the Governor 4/5/23; Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, HB 4032, Approved by the Governor 3/23/23]
  • Democratic Lawmakers Passed A Bill That Bars Employers From Retaliating Against Employees Who Have An Abortion. “The legislation, SB 147, which Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign into law, would amend the state’s Civil Rights Act to protect. Currently, only abortions intended to save the life of the pregnant person are protected, meaning an employer could fire someone for having an abortion.  The legislation closes a loophole in Michigan’s civil rights laws to reflect the interests of the state, protection of reproductive health care, bill sponsor state Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) said on the Senate floor in March before the Senate’s initial vote. ‘It is necessary to ensure that this loophole is closed so that employers who are hostile to abortion believing they need to insert themselves in people’s reproductive health care decisions do not violate the state constitution,’ Geiss said.” [Michigan Advance, 5/4/23]
    • Gov. Whitmer Signed The Legislation. [Michigan Legislature, 2023 Session, SB 147, Approved by the Governor, 5/18/23]