McCall Hamilton Advocacy and Public Affairs

April 16th-29th, 2024

Upcoming events

Sunday, April 28th, 2024

Happy 25 Year Work Anniversary to our leader and friend at McCall Hamilton, Melissa Reitz!

Friday, May 17th, 2024

May Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference

Michigan House & Senate DHHS Subcommittee Budget Recommendations

The Michigan State House and Senate approproations subcommittees have issued their respective budget recommendations for the upcoming fiscal year beginning on October 1.

The Senate’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) budget closely aligns with the governor’s proposal in overall funding levels but includes some notable differences. Notable changes include adjustments to funding for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, Medicaid reimbursement rates, juvenile justice programs, and various one-time funding items and new programs. Additionally, the Senate introduced boilerplate language aimed at safeguarding the privacy of individuals seeking abortion services in Michigan from out-of-state investigations. The Senate’s proposed budget stands at $37.71 billion (with $6.68 billion allocated from the General Fund), coming in $110 million higher than the Governor’s proposed $37.6 billion budget for DHHS.

On the other hand, the House’s DHHS budget introduces its own modifications to the Governor’s proposal. Notably, the House subcommittee opted to allocate $53.4 million from opioid settlement funds toward opioid recovery and addiction care services. The House also proposed various adjustments to Medicaid reimbursement rates, foster care administration rates, and funding for behavioral health initiatives. Additionally, the House prioritized several one-time projects, including investments in public health initiatives, behavioral health programs, and community violence prevention. The House’s proposed budget amounts to $35.9 billion (with $6.6 billion allocated from the General Fund). Their total budget for DHHS is $1.81 billion less than the Governor’s DHHS budget proposal.

Overall, both the Senate and House Budget Recommendations exhibit nuanced differences from the governor’s proposal, reflecting varying priorities and approaches in addressing key areas such as healthcare, social services, and public health initiatives. While the Senate budget came in slightly higher than the executive budget allocation for DHHS, the House proposal is significantly lower. Updated revenues for Fiscal Year 2025 will be presented on May 17 at the next Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference.

New House Members Xiong, Herzberg Sworn In

The winners of the April 16 special election for the two House seats vacated by former Representatives Kevin Coleman (D-Westland) and Lori Stone (D-Warren) back in November were sworn in to the Michigan State House following the certification of the election results.

Representatives Peter Herzberg (D-Westland) and Mai Xiong (D-Warren) gave the House Democrats theirs two-seat majority back following their wins. Subsequently, the new members were given committee assignments. Herzberg will serve on the Transportation, Mobility and Infrastructure Committee, the Health Policy Subcommittee on Behavioral Health, the Agriculture Committee, and the Energy, Communications and Technology Committee. Xiong was assigned to the Insurance Committee, the Military, Veterans and Homeland Security Committee, the Education Committee, and the Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee.

Michigan House Primaries Heat Up: Incumbents Face Challenges, Former Lawmakers Vie for Comeback

The Michigan House is experiencing a significant influx of primary challenges and former lawmakers seeking to regain seats as the state’s political landscape undergoes shifts due to redrawn districts and changes in term limits. Following the April 23rd filing deadline, it was revealed that 35 incumbent lawmakers face primary challengers in August, with seven additional seats opening as current legislators opt not to seek re-election. The redrawing of 15 Metro Detroit districts has also opened the door for new candidates pursuing a seat in the Michigan House.

Additionally, changes to legislative term limits approved in 2022 have enabled former lawmakers to run again, leading to a surge in filings from those hoping for a return to the lower chamber. This dynamic has set the stage for a lively primary season, with both Democrats and Republicans seeing increased engagement and competition in various districts. Lists of the current Members facing primaries are listed below. For more details about each seat and challenger, you may visit the 2024 Michigan Candidate Listing.

Michigan House Primary Challenges

  • Rep. Tyrone Carter (D – District 1)
  • Rep. Alabas Farhat (D – District 3)
  • Rep. Regina Weiss (D – District 5)
  • Rep. Natalie Price (D – District 6)
  • Rep. Helena Scott (D – District 8)
    • Challenger: Former Rep. LaTanya Garrett (D)
  • Speaker of the House Joe Tate (D – District 9)
  • Rep. Veronica Paiz (D – District 10)
  • Rep. Kimberly Edwards (D – District 12)
  • Rep. Mai Xiong (D – District 13) Elected on April 16th special election
    • Challenger: Former Rep. Richard Steenland (D)
  • Re. Mike McFall (D – District 14)
    • Challenger: former Warren Mayer Jim Fouts (D) in the 14th district
  • Rep. Stephanie Young (D – District 16)
  • Rep. Peter Herzberg (D – District 25) Elected on April 16th special election
  • Rep. Dylan Wegela (D – District 26)
  • Rep. Steve Carra (R – District 36)
  • Rep. Pauline Wendzel (R – District 39)
  • House Minority Leader Matt Hall (R – District 42)
  • Rep. Matt Maddock (R – District 51)
  • Rep. Donni Steele (R – District 54)
  • Rep. Doug Wozniak (R – District 59)
  • Rep. Jay DeBoyer (R – District 63)
  • Rep. Josh Schriver (R – District 66)
  • Rep. Phil Green (R – District 67)
  • Rep. Cynthia Neeley (D – District 70)
  • Rep. Brian BeGole (R – District 71)
  • Rep. Kara Hope (D – District 74)
    • Challenger: Tom Izzo (no relation to the MSU basketball coach), who filed to run as a Republican
  • Rep. Emily Dievendorf (D – District 77)
  • Rep. Gina Johnsen (R – District 78)
  • Rep. Carol Glanville (D – District 84)
  • Rep. Timmy Beson (D – District 96)
  • Rep. Joseph Fox (R – District 101)
  • Rep. Ken Borton (R – District 105)
  • Rep. Cam Cavitt (R – District 106)
  • Rep. Neil Friske (R – District 107)
  • Rep. Jenn Hill (D – District 109)
  • Rep. John Roth (R – District 104)
    • Challenger: Conservative radio host “Trucker” Randy Bishop, who filed as a Democrat
  • NOTEWORTHY: Former Rep. Tim Sneller (D) has filed to run against incumbent Rep. Dave Martin (R – District 68)

Legislators Not Seeking Re-Election

  • Majority Floor Leader Abraham Aiyash (D – District 9)
  • Rep. Andrew Beeler (R – District 64)
  • Rep. Bob Bezotte (R – District 50)
  • Rep. Felicia Brabec (D – District 33)
  • Rep. Graham Filler (R – District 93)
    • Former Rep. Tim Kelly has filed to run in district 93 as a Republican
  • Rep. Rachel Hood (D – District 81)
  • Rep. Christine Morse (D – District 40)

Medicaid Renewals Surpass 1.5 Million

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) recently announced the renewal of Medicaid and Healthy Michigan Plan coverage for an additional 141,471 individuals, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to over 1.5 million. This renewal effort coincides with Medicaid Awareness Month, recognizing Medicaid as the largest insurance program in the United States.

MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel emphasized the importance of maintaining healthcare coverage for residents, highlighting efforts to streamline the renewal process and ensure access to quality, affordable care. Strategies such as extending renewals and providing additional support aim to reduce the risk of coverage loss. Michiganders are encouraged to submit renewal paperwork promptly, with resources available online to facilitate the process and explore alternative coverage options if ineligible for Medicaid.


Governor Signs New CPR & AED Requirements for High Schools During NFL Draft

Amidst the NFL draft festivities in Detroit, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed into law two bills aimed at bolstering cardiac emergency response in Michigan high schools. House Bill 5527 mandates the development of comprehensive cardiac emergency response plans, including the establishment of emergency response teams, AED placement, staff training, and annual simulation drills, beginning in the 2025-26 school year. Complementing this, House Bill 5528 requires high school coaches to be certified in CPR and AED use. Both bills garnered bipartisan support in the state legislature.

Advocates, including bill sponsors Rep. John Fitzgerald (D – Wyoming) and Rep. Tyrone Carter (D – Detroit) and NFL player Damar Hamlin, emphasized the importance of equipping schools with lifesaving equipment and training. The Chasing M’s Foundation, co-founded by Hamlin, announced a significant donation of AEDs to Michigan high schools, emphasizing the vital role of CPR and AED knowledge in saving lives. The bill signing ceremony featured hands-on CPR training sessions, highlighting the importance of community readiness in responding to cardiac emergencies.

Audit Initiated in Response to Concerns Surrounding Youth Psychiatric Center

Recent controversies surrounding Michigan’s state-run youth psychiatric services, including lawsuits, patient escapes, and allegations of inadequate care, have prompted the initiation of an audit by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG). Specifically, the Office of Recipient Rights (ORR), responsible for safeguarding the rights of mental health service recipients, is under review.

Sen. Michael Webber (R – Rochester Hills) and colleagues requested the audit last year amidst concerns about management practices at facilities like the Hawthorn Center in Northville. Complaints of substandard care, including allegations of physical abuse and poor living conditions, have underscored the need for transparency and accountability in state-operated psychiatric hospitals. The audit, expected to take approximately six months, aims to identify systemic issues and promote improvements in patient care and oversight protocols. Despite some scrutiny over its handling of the situation, MDHHS asserts that it is fully supportive of transparency efforts.

As investigations unfold, necessary reforms are anticipated to ensure the well-being of vulnerable youth under state care.