LANSING, Mich. March 8, 2023 — State Rep. Veronica Paiz’s (D-Harper Woods) legislation, House Bill 4033, passed the House Elections Committee this week. This bill would require the state to reimburse local units of government for the cost of conducting a special election to fill a vacancy for a House or Senate office, if the election is called by the Governor and is held on a date other than an allotted election date.
“I am passionate about this legislation — it is unfair that our local governments bear the financial burden for state-level special elections. It also saves taxpayers money,” Paiz said. “My bill assures that municipalities do not pick up the tab, using precious local funding, for the benefit of the state.”
To qualify for special election reimbursement, a county, city or township would submit its costs due to the special election to the Department of Treasury within 90 days after the election. The Department of Treasury and Secretary of State would then determine the costs that would be eligible for reimbursement. These reimbursements would not include the salaries of permanent local officials or the cost of reusable election supplies and equipment.
“This bill supports counties, cities and townships, small and large. While serving on the Harper Woods City Council, I learned of the many challenges cities face in regards to funding. This legislation stems from that experience and gives municipalities a break by allowing them to get reimbursed for unexpected election expenses and freeing up these funds to instead be used in other beneficial capacities. “