For the first time in more than 40 years, Democrats took control of the Michigan governor’s office, the Senate, and the House in 2022. Additionally, both the secretary of state and attorney general are Democrats, and the state Supreme Court also boasts a Democratic majority.
This Democrat trifecta plus plus is transforming Michigan into a state where the politics reflects the color of the four Great Lakes; in other words: A very vivid blue.
Several examples from this week prove the point, including:
Bridge Michigan reported Friday that Democratic lawmakers are seeking to repeal a law passed in 2016 by Republicans that prohibits local governments from regulating plastic grocery bags by either banning them or requiring a fee for their use. Rep. Felicia Brabec, D-Pittsfield Township, introduced the bill last April, calling it “an issue of local control.”
Brabec continued: “This bill allows local municipalities to make their own decisions about auxiliary containers, and that can include bags, cups, bottles, and other packaging used to transport food.”
Opponents say passage of the bill could prompt an “administrative nightmare.”
On Friday, Nessel joined a coalition of 20 state attorneys general expressing opposition to an Indiana state law prohibiting “gender-affirming care” for transgender youth. In July, the governor signed House Bills 4616 and 4617, which ban LGBTQ+ conversion therapy for minors.
“Laws like Indiana’s Senate Enacted Act 480 insert the state government between patients, parents, and doctors as a barrier to necessary health care provided to transgender youth,” Nessel said in a statement. “This law is inconsistent with the way we should treat our children, especially transgender youth, who are more likely to experience marginalization and bullying. Withholding critical gender-affirming care threatens the lives and well-being of these young people and I proudly join my colleagues in opposing this dangerous and discriminatory law.”
Whitmer signed a law prohibiting citizens under the age of 18 from marrying, regardless of whether the minors’ legal guardians consent to the nuptials. “Keeping Michiganders safe and healthy is one of my top priorities, and today’s bipartisan bills will build on our efforts to protect young people — especially young women — from abuse,” Whitmer said.
The number of individuals under the age of 18 seeking marriage has dropped precipitously over the past 20+ years. According to Not the Bee:
The Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday announced a rule requiring all judges in the state refer to individuals by their preferred pronouns, including they/them, Ms., Mr., and Mx. The rule goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
“History is made by being the first,” Justice Kyra Harris Bolden, one of four Democrats out of seven Supreme Court members, said in a statement. “Adopting this amendment makes Michigan courts more welcoming and inclusive for all.” Bolden was appointed to the court last November by Gov. Whitmer.
Republican Justices Brian Zahra and David Viviano, who were both appointed by former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, dissented. Zahra noted the rule change might violate a justice’s personal beliefs.
“This is a fluid political debate into which our judicial branch of state government should not wade, let alone dive headfirst and claim to have resolved,” Zahra stated. “Such hubris has no place within the operation of a judicial branch of state government.”
Judges in violation of the new rule face potential sanctions, including suspensions or removal from the bench.
Ford Motor Company announced Monday it was pumping the brakes on its BlueOval collaboration with Chinese company Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. in Marshall after receiving more than $1.5 billion in state and local incentives, loans, and tax breaks. Despite the pause, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved another $65 million for site preparation the day after Ford’s announcement.
“We fully expect that Ford will continue to develop [the] BlueOval Battery Park Michigan site and we need to allow the Ford Motor Co. and UAW to continue their negotiations,” Quentin Messer Jr., president and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. and chair of the MSF, said in a board meeting. However, Messer added, the additional $65 million will be spent on projects unrelated to BlueOval.
The initial announcement of the Marshall plant was touted by Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist as a key component in her MI Healthy Climate campaign.