Democrats wrest control of Michigan Legislature for first time in almost 40 years

I lived in Michigan for 27 years having moved from Madison Wisconsin. If I had my choice, we would have stayed in Madison. It was damn cold in the winter. We were still able to do things though.

Michigan was not quite the same. It was never really home for us. Just too many things not right. The politics were deeply Republican in our county. The roads were in poor to fair condition, taxes were too low, and the county favored business.

Voting was another manner. The districts were drawn so as to favor Republicans with the exception of Detroit. As long as we lived there, the state Senate was always Republicans and a majority of the time the House was also. We had two Republican Governors and one Democrat with each serving two terms a piece. We relocated after a couple of years after Whitmer was elected.

To achieve a legislature favoring the political beliefs of Republicans, the state was Gerrymandered.

Democrats wrest control of Michigan Legislature for first time in almost 40 years,” Michigan Advance, Julia Forrest

“Democrats will now have a political trifecta in Lansing after retaining Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and winning both chambers of the Michigan Legislature. This is the first time Democrats will have total party control in the Michigan Legislature in roughly 40 years.”

As I stated, we were living in Michigan for 27 of those years. Republicans were not particularly responsive to constituent needs at the state or the county level. County roads were in bad shape as well as Township roads. Our township finally decided to pass a millage for roads. The road millage passed as well as funding for the fire and police departments. It just made sense rather than see the infrastructure and services deteriorate.

State roads were suffering also. As I mentioned elsewhere, the Republicans would blame Democrats when the Governor was a Dem and then block road funds in the House and Senate. They could do it as the state was Gerrymandered with only Detroit being competitive. The numbers of Federal Congressional Reps improved when we lost one and they had to redistrict. The State Reps and Senators stayed the same. From 1992 till recently, Democrats had control of the House three times since then. The Michigan Senate was controlled by Republicans 100% of the time since 1984. Both branch composition was due to Gerrymandering the Michigan legislative districts. The issues of which (Gerrymandering) were brought to the public by the news media and newspapers favoring either side.

What made a change occur was an amendment to the State Constitution. The MICRC came to being after voters approved a 2018 constitutional amendment. This amendment transferred the power to redistrict from the state legislature to an independent redistricting commission. The committee consisted of two Democrats, two Republicans, and four nonpartisan members.

On December 28, 2021, the Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) approved what was called the “Chestnut” map. It passed by a vote of 8-5. Two of the Democrats, two Republicans, and four nonpartisan members voted to approve the plan. The other five remaining commissioners were in favor of other plans. As required by law, “at least two commissioners who affiliate with each major party, and at least two commissioners who did not affiliate with either major party” voted in favor of the adopted map

Under the terms of the amendment,

“Within 30 days after adopting a plan, the commission shall publish the plan and the material reports, reference materials, and data used in drawing it, including any programming information used to produce and test the plan.”

The adopted legislative plan becomes law 60 days after the MICRC publishes its report.

This new law is now 4 years old. It appears to have worked as we have Michigan now has a more balanced government. The number of Democrats in Michigan have been slowly increasing as witnessed by a continuous election of Democrat Senators. Citizens who vote Democratic make up more than 50% of the population.

Have political parties, in this case Republicans been gaming the system? The history of the composition of Michigan’s legislative bodies points in that direction. I lived there for 27 years. Judy Daubenmier was our Democratic leader in Livingston County. Michigan. I am sure she is pretty happy.

What also passed most recently?

Michigan voted to put abortion-rights into state constitution, POLITICO.

After an expensive and tense campaign, Michigan voters approved an amendment to the state’s constitution. It guarantees the right to abortion and other reproductive health services. The measure passed with 55.7 percent of the vote, as of 3:40 a.m. It was about time the state got things right.

“Michigan Senate and House Majority Republicans Will Usurp the Public’s Right to Vote on an Abortion Ban,” Angry Bear, angry bear blog.

“Gerrymandering Michigan,” Angry Bear angry bear blog.

“Redistricting in Michigan,” Ballotpedia.