Democrats put Michigan’s working families at center of new agenda

LANSING—Speaker of the House Joe Tate (D-Detroit) and Senate Majority Leader Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) yesterday heralded the legislative priorities of their respective caucuses with the initial introduction of bills to begin the 102nd Session of the Michigan Legislature.

The House and Senate Democratic leaders highlighted a series of bills that reflect shared priorities across the Democratic caucuses to put Michigan families first. The bills include the repeal of the unfair and unpopular “retirement tax;” enabling workers to keep more of their hard-earned dollars through an increased Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC); expansion of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act; restoration of the state’s prevailing wage law; restoring workers’ rights by repealing the so-called “Right to Work” policy, and, legislation to repeal the state’s 1931 statute criminalizing abortion.

“House Democrats are committed to supporting Michigan families, guaranteeing the rights of all Michiganders are protected and respected, ensuring workers know they are valued, protecting and investing in our future, and promoting safe and strong communities,” said Speaker Tate. “Our commitment to make good on our promise to advance the priorities of the people is made clear with the introduction of these first bills of the session.”

“These initial bills represent our collective commitment to expanding rights and opportunities for the people of Michigan,” Majority Leader Brinks said. “Our first and only order of business is to tackle the real challenges that folks are facing by implementing an agenda that makes Michigan an even better place to call home. We know that the best policy is written at a table with many voices, and with these first bills we are setting a new standard of leadership that listens to the needs of the people.”

Democratic legislators announced:

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Angela Witwer (D-Delta Twp.) and Sen. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores) to repeal the retirement tax on Michigan seniors;

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Nate Shannon (D-Sterling Heights) and Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) to enable workers to keep more of their hard-earned dollars through an increased Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC);

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Jason Hoskins (D-Southfield) and Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) to expand Michigan’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include anti-discrimination protections for sexual and gender identity;

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac) and Sen. Veronica Klinefelt (D-Eastpointe) to restore the state’s prevailing wage law;

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park) and Sen. Darrin Camilleri (D-Trenton) to restore workers’ rights by repealing the so-called “Right to Work” policy;

Legislation sponsored by Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) and Sen. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor) to repeal Michigan’s 1931 statute that criminalizes abortion care.

The bills, announced Wednesday, will be formally introduced in the House and Senate record during Session on Thursday, January 12.