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2017

November

Auto no-fault insurance reform grabbed most of the attention in Lansing’s Capitol this month with a few exceptions...

October

The fall legislative session is well underway. This is the time for major legislation to be considered before 2018...

September

The Legislature was scheduled to meet on August 16, but both chambers announced they would not take roll or conduct any voting on that day...

August

The Legislature met only one day in July and plans to meet only one day in August. But there is still plenty of public policy and political news...

July

The stand-off between the Governor and the House and Senate Republicans over the budget was resolved just in time for legislators to get away for...

June

The Michigan Legislature is scheduled to depart Lansing between June 15 and June 22, depending on finalizing the budget...

May

A sharply divided Michigan House pushed through Fiscal Year 2018 spending plans in a late session on May 2 by a 60-47 margin...

April

Before they broke for spring break on March 31, a majority of the House and Senate appropriations subcommittees had reported out their budgets to...

March

February saw the introduction of the Governor’s budget proposal and a major effort to roll back the income tax...

February

The Legislature returned January 11 for House swearing-in ceremonies and leadership elections...

January

Because both Congress and the Presidency are now in the hands of one party, combined with the Republican Party’s platform plan to save Medicare...

2016

December

Exciting political month! My favorite time of year...

November

At this writing, the result of the November 8 election is not known, but whatever the outcome, it will be a relief to move on to governance issues...

October

While Michigan remains a presidential battleground state and candidates and their surrogates...

September

The Michigan Legislature is returning September 7 for 9 session days before the November 8 election...

August

The Michigan Legislature has been adjourned since June 9 and is scheduled to return September 7...

July

Before its summer break ending June 9, the Legislature passed the budget for next year, a “fix” for Detroit Public Schools...

June

With the Flint Water Crisis and Detroit Public School’s potential bankruptcy looming large, there was a rush to pass a state budget before Memorial Day ...

May

The Flint water crisis continues to eclipse all other stories in Michigan, but the Detroit Public Schools funding...

April

The House and Senate recessed for spring “district work” on March 24 with a flurry of activity. They returned...

March

The Michigan Presidential Primary brought increased attention to the Flint water crisis and rustbelt economic...

February

National presidential politics and the Flint water crisis captured international attention in recent months, pushing many other stories off the radar...

January

The 2015 Legislative session ended on December 17 and resumed January 13, 2016 with spring break scheduled for April 1-9. Governor Rick Snyder is...

2015

December

In November, the Legislature met for only 5 days due to the hunting and Thanksgiving break, returning December 1 for 9 days of session...

November

This month two nightmares have ended — the roads fix negotiations and the Courser-Gamrat scandal...

October

September and early October have been busy at Michigan’s Capitol. The scaffolding connected to the restoration...

September

In August the Senate did not meet; the House met three days, two of them fairly long days of waiting for any word on a roads fix deal...

August

The official session of the Michigan Legislature in July consisted of less than three total hours over three days for the House; the Senate scheduled five session days but...

July

Although the Michigan House recessed for its summer break on June 18, the Michigan Senate remained to work on finding revenue for roads and bridges. House and Senate...

June

A substitute HB 4124 sponsored by Rep. Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) to protect surviving spouse pension benefits was reported unanimously out of the House Tax Policy Committee on June 3...

May

Michigan voters rejected by a 4-to-1 margin Proposal 2015-1 to increase the sales tax that would have generated $1.2 billion more for roads as well as new funding for schools and...

April

The legislature recessed on March 26 for two weeks of in-district work that the rest of us call spring vacation. Before they left, all the appropriations bills...

March

The new session of the Michigan Legislature continues to be filled with presentations from agencies and organizations briefing legislators on how state government works and past history...

February

With the beginning of the new two-year legislative session, there are returning and fresh priorities. Having 57 percent of the House and 71 percent of the Senate, Republican legislators are in a good position to enact their...

January

Thanks to Walt Sorg for writing the December Serenade Capitol News article during my absence for a trip to southeast Asia...

2014

November

Campaigning and preparations for the November 4 election consumed Michigan during the last month. Despite the Michigan Democratic party’s...

October

The Legislature came back from summer recess on September 9 and adjourned on October 2 to return to district work, i.e. campaigning and fundraising...

September

Although the Legislature was in session for only one day in August, there was plenty of political activity in the state...

August

With legislators all away on vacation, most of the media was consumed with campaign reporting. With less than 18 percent of the voters showing up at the primary...

July

The Legislature adjourned on June 12 after several late nights attempting to pass priority legislation, including...

June

With the Legislature expected to recess for the summer on June 12, much remains to be done...

May

First the good news! On April 17, the Court of Appeals granted retired school teacher Tom Okrie’s motion for oral argument in his challenge to the constitutionality...

April

The Legislature’s last day before spring break was March 27 with a planned return April 22 for the Senate and April 17, 23, and 29 for the House. Governor Snyder took the opportunity to go on a European trade mission...

March

March, April and May are the months for legislative hearings and deal-making on the Governor’s proposed budget for FY15 and FY16...

February

January and February may be frigid in Michigan, but those months are the ones when the Legislature is beginning to heat up for the year...

January

2013 closed with the usual rush to get everything done that had been put off for months...

2013
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