McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

February 6th-17th, 2023

The Capitol Community Mourns MSU Shooting, Senate Dems Introduce Gun Reform Legislation

The Capitol community has been in mourning this week following Monday night’s mass shooting on Michigan State University’s campus. Three MSU students died, five were critically wounded, and thousands forever changed by this senseless act.

Through the unimaginable, MSU students and the community stood Spartan Strong and gathered together on the steps of the Capital building to call for change. Turning to action, Senate Democrats introduced a package of gun reform bills on Thursday. Specifically, the package seeks to enact universal background checks, safe storage of firearm laws, and “red flag” laws that would allow individuals to petition a judge to confiscate firearms from a person if that person is a danger to themselves or others. The bills were referred to the Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary, and Public Safety Committee where we expect them to have a hearing in the coming weeks.

Karamo Elected as MI GOP Chair

Late Friday evening at Michigan Republican Convention in Lansing, Kristina Karamo was elected to serve as the state party chair, fending off former attorney general candidate and Trump-endorsed Matt DePerno by a total of 58 percent to 42 percent, respectively. Former Muskegon County Commissioner Malinda Pego will serve as co-chair.

Karamo beat out eight other candidates for chair in the third round of voting. The process took approximately ten hours as MI GOP chose to hand count all ballots instead of using electronic voting tabulators. In her victory speech, Karamo predicted Republicans would see key wins in 2024, including the White House, U.S. Senate, and Michigan state House.

Karamo was the Republican nominee for secretary of state in 2022 but lost to incumbent Jocelyn Benson by fourteen points.

MDHHS Releases Medicaid Redetermination

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued guidance for Medicaid enrollee redetermination in anticipation of the end of the federal public health emergency (PHE).

During the federal COVID-19 PHE, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act required states to continue health care coverage for all Medicaid enrollees, regardless if their eligibility changes. With the end of the federal PHE nearing, Michigan will begin redetermining beneficiaries beginning in June 2023. Redetermination will continue on a monthly basis through May 2024.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to check their renewal dates here.

Ford Announces New Investment, More Jobs Coming to Michigan

On February 13, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, alongside Ford’s Executive Chair Bill Ford and CEO Jim Farley, announced Ford’s $3.5 billion investment into the state to build an electric vehicle battery manufacturing facility. This help contribute to Ford’s goal to produce two million electric vehicles annually by 2026.

Located in Marshall, the 2.5 million square foot plant is expected to create 2,500 jobs in the region. These jobs are estimated to create more than $29.7 billion in new personal income over the span of twenty years with the help of expected spin-off investment and redevelopment opportunities.

The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) approved $210 million for the Critical Industry Program, $772 million for the MSF Designated Renaissance Zone, and $36 million for the Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance.

Governor Signs Affordable Housing EO

On February 6, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order, which shifts the administration of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Michigan Strategic Fund to the Michigan State Housing and Development Authority (MSHDA). This change would create more flexibility and efficiency for the state to distribute funds for housing.

Last September, Governor Whitmer and MSHDA released the Statewide Housing Plan. The goals of this plan include building or rehabilitating 75,000 housing units, stabilizing housing for 100,000 families, weatherize and improve 15,000 homes, and decrease the number of unhoused individuals in the state.