Wednesday, February 14th, 2024Happy Valentine's Day!
Monday, February 19th, 2024Presidents' Day
Michigan Redistricting Timeline & Updates
The citizens panel responsible for redrawing Michigan legislative districts is currently considering six new House map configurations to address a federal court order to redraw 13 House and Senate districts. The current map, which contributed to Democrats gaining control of the House for the first time in 40 years, is being rewritten by the independent citizens redistricting commission. While the proposed maps generally lean Democratic, some configurations could lead to more competitive seats, potentially impacting the Democratic majority in the House. Notably, revisions aim to cluster districts in Detroit, possibly increasing African-American representation in the Legislature. The court set a deadline of March 29 for new House maps, with the possibility of using a court-appointed expert’s plan if necessary. Here’s a look at the timeline for redrawing state House maps:
Timeline for House District Mapping:
Feb. 2: Commission finalizes state House draft maps for public comment
Feb. 23: Public comment period concludes
March 1: Commission adopts final House maps, submits to court
March 8: Plaintiffs file any objections to plan with court
March 15: Court-appointed expert submits review of the commission’s work
March 29: Goal to implement new House maps. Judges left open the option of using a plan drawn by a court-appointed expert if they deem the commission’s work insufficient
April 12: Court reconvenes to determine next steps on redrawing state Senate maps
April 23: Filing deadline for candidates in new state House districts
Aug. 6: Michigan primary election
Nov. 5: Michigan general election
You can read more about the redistricting at SUPREME COURT REJECTS DELAY, MICHIGAN TO REDRAW DETROIT DISTRICTS BY SPRING
Governor Announces Appointments to Various Boards and Commissions
Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced several appointments to boards and commissions, with an emphasis on diversity. Appointments of special notice are as follows.
Child Lead Exposure Elimination Commission:
- Jane Nickert: Director of nursing at the Washtenaw County Health Department (replaces Chioma Ejiofor).
Health Information Technology:
- Jessica Robinson: Digital inclusion manager for the State of Michigan (succeeds Camille Pasquel Banks).
Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect:
- Judge Yasmine Isshak Poles: Judge of the Michigan 6th Circuit Court (reappointed).
Human Trafficking Health Advisory Board:
- Brigette Robarge: Lead mentor for trafficked youth at Common Ground (reappointed).
Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council:
- Joseph Bione: President and founder of the Whitehall Group (new appointee).
- Tiffany Gaiter: Former secondary education teacher (new appointee).
Michigan Board of Medicine:
- Dr. Holly Gilmer: Neurosurgeon (reappointed).
- Dr. Michael Lewis: Anesthesiologist (reappointed).
- Angela Trepanier: Genetic Counselor (reappointed).
- Dr. Brigitte Lorenz: Obstetrician-Gynecologist (new appointee).
- Dr. Stephen Zintsmaster: Radiologist (new appointee).
Michigan Health Endowment Fund Board:
- Zaineb Hussein: Chief of staff for the mayor of the City of Dearborn (represents the nominee of the speaker of the house of representatives).
- David Nyberg: Executive Director of Business Engagement and Economic Development at Northern Michigan University (represents the nominee of the Senate Minority Leader).
- Lynn Chen-Zhang: CEO of Zhang Financial (represents the nominee by House of Representatives Minority Leader).
Michigan Council for Rehabilitation Services:
- Karen Wang: Transition specialist for the Michigan Alliance for Families (reappointed).
- William Ernzen: Managing director for Slalom Detroit (reappointed).
- Kellie Blackwell: Michigan Assistive Technology Program Co-Director of the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (reappointed).
- Brent Mikulski: President and CEO for Services to Enhance Potential in Dearborn (reappointed).
- Carol Bergquist: Director of Vocational Rehabilitation Services for the Hannahville Indian Community (reappointed).
Lawsuit Challenges Michigan Abortion Restrictions Despite New Reproductive Health Act
House Democrats are celebrating the enactment of several new laws aimed at safeguarding personal freedoms and rights, which come into effect on February 13. These laws, which include protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and measures to eliminate barriers to reproductive health care access, are significant milestones for the state. Among them is the Reproductive Health Act, which aims to ensure access to abortion, remove medically unnecessary barriers, and safeguard reproductive rights.
Still, certain groups advocating for greater abortion access are challenging existing abortion restrictions that remain, such as the mandatory 24-hour waiting period and restrictions on advanced practice clinicians providing abortion care. These groups argue that these laws contradict the will of Michigan voters as expressed through the Reproductive Freedom for All constitutional amendment. The lawsuit, led by the Center for Reproductive Rights, names Attorney General Dana Nessel and other state officials as defendants, seeking a declaration that the laws are invalid and an order to prevent their enforcement. While House Democrats were unable to repeal these laws legislatively, the outcome of the lawsuit remains to be seen.