October 21, 2020 •

Michigan Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds Published

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds. This changes every year in January to reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit. The threshold for a lobbyist compensating a lobbyist agent or other […]

The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2021 Reporting Thresholds.

This changes every year in January to reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit.

The threshold for a lobbyist compensating a lobbyist agent or other employee increased from $2,525 to $2,575 for any 12-month period.

The financial transaction threshold between a registered lobbyist or lobbyist agent and a public official increased from $1,275 to $1,300.

Travel and lodging reimbursements increased from $825 to $850.

Food and beverage expenditures for a public official increased from $63 to $64 in any month.

Meanwhile, the $400 threshold for food and beverages purchased between January 1 and the end of the reporting period remains the same as last year.

Employee reimbursements increased from $25 to $26, and the general gift threshold also increased from $63 to $64.

Late filing fees increased from $25 a day up to a maximum of $750, to $26 and a $780 maximum.

The registration threshold of $650 for a lobbyist agent or a lobbyist’s expenditure on one public official during a 12-month period and exempt expenditures at $13, remain the same as last year.

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May 14, 2020 •

Michigan Adjourns Until May 19 Due to Protests

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

Thursday’s legislative session was canceled and the Capitol in Lansing was closed due to an armed protest and death threats against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. At the end of the Senate session on May 13, lawmakers simply adjourned until May 19 […]

Thursday’s legislative session was canceled and the Capitol in Lansing was closed due to an armed protest and death threats against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

At the end of the Senate session on May 13, lawmakers simply adjourned until May 19 rather than call the next previously scheduled meeting.

The adjournment came in fear of a repeat of the events on April 30.

Armed protesters entered the Senate Chamber’s visitors gallery, standing above the members during the session.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued an opinion on May 11 saying the State Capitol Commission could ban firearms.

The commission voted to study a ban this week, and on May 12, Sen. Dayna Polehanki proposed Senate Resolution 118 to ban firearms in the Capitol.

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April 10, 2020 •

Michigan Announces Special Election for House District 4 Seat

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Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today a special primary election will be held August 4. The purpose will be to fill the vacant seat in House District 4 of former State Rep. Isaac Robinson, who died March 29. The special election […]

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today a special primary election will be held August 4.

The purpose will be to fill the vacant seat in House District 4 of former State Rep. Isaac Robinson, who died March 29.

The special election for the seat will be held with the general election on November 3.

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March 30, 2020 •

Michigan Encourages Absentee Voting in May 5 Elections

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-27 on March 29 suspending rules under Michigan election law for elections on May 5. Additionally, the Governor instructed local clerks, county clerks, and election administrators to immediately begin preparations to conduct the election […]

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-27 on March 29 suspending rules under Michigan election law for elections on May 5.

Additionally, the Governor instructed local clerks, county clerks, and election administrators to immediately begin preparations to conduct the election primarily by mail.

The Department of State may assist with the mailing of absent voter ballot applications and preparation of postage-prepaid absent voter ballot return envelopes for the return of voted ballots.

Gov. Whitmer is encouraging all voters to vote by absentee ballot.

However, each jurisdiction must maintain at least one location on election day where any voter can appear in-person to receive and submit a ballot.

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March 17, 2020 •

Michigan Adopts Procedural Changes in Response to Coronavirus

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

The Legislature adopted procedural changes this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic, following Gov. Whitmer’s declaration of a state emergency. The House and Senate will continue to meet for the next few weeks as needed. This will be at […]

The Legislature adopted procedural changes this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic, following Gov. Whitmer’s declaration of a state emergency.

The House and Senate will continue to meet for the next few weeks as needed.

This will be at the discretion of the House Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader, with additional precautions in place.

All scheduled Senate committees for this week have also been canceled.

Both chambers have a legislative break that is scheduled to start March 27 and end April 14.

The Capitol Commission also suspended all tours and events in the Capitol extending through Friday, May 1, 2020.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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January 28, 2020 •

Progress Michigan Seeking to Amend State Constitution to Ban Lobbyist Gifts, etc.

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

Progress Michigan is seeking to amend the state constitution to Ban lobbyists and their clients from giving gifts, including meals, drinks, and trips, to public officials Require lobbyists and public officials to make a public record of their phone calls, […]

Progress Michigan is seeking to amend the state constitution to

    • Ban lobbyists and their clients from giving gifts, including meals, drinks, and trips, to public officials
    • Require lobbyists and public officials to make a public record of their phone calls, meetings, and other communications with each other
    • Require a two-year cooling off period before public officials could become lobbyists
    • Ban contingency pay for lobbyists

Progress Michigan is part of the Coalition to Close Lansing Loopholes, which filed proposed language with the state for the November 2020 ballot.

A constitutional amendment requires the group to collect signatures of registered voters equal to at least 10% of the number of votes cast for all candidates in the last gubernatorial election, or at least 425,055 valid signatures by July 6.

The group is seeking a constitutional amendment, rather than a legislative initiative, which requires fewer signatures, to prevent the Legislature from amending the proposal.

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January 21, 2020 •

Michigan Bureau of Elections Posts Lobby Registration Act 2020 Reporting Thresholds

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2020 Reporting Thresholds. Thresholds change every year in January to reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit. The registration threshold for a lobbyist agent or a lobbyist’s expenditure […]

The Bureau of Elections posted the Lobby Registration Act 2020 Reporting Thresholds.

Thresholds change every year in January to reflect the change in the consumer price index for Detroit.

The registration threshold for a lobbyist agent or a lobbyist’s expenditure on one public official during a 12-month period has increased from $625 to $650.

The threshold for a lobbyist compensating a lobbyist agent or other employee increased from $2,500 to $2,525 for any 12-month period.

The financial transaction threshold between a registered lobbyist or lobbyist agent and a public official increased from $1,250 to $1,275.

Food and beverage expenditures for a public official increased from $62 in any month and $375 in any year to $63 and $400 respectively.

The general gift threshold also increased from $62 to $63.

Travel and lodging reimbursements, employee reimbursements, exempt expenditures, late filing fees remain the same as last year.

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January 14, 2020 •

Democrat Cynthia Neeley and Republican Adam Ford won Special Primaries

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

Democrat Cynthia Neeley and Republican Adam Ford won the House District 34 special primaries held on January 7. Less than 7% of Flint’s 62,242 registered voters participated in the special election. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called the election after Cynthia Neeley’s […]

Democrat Cynthia Neeley and Republican Adam Ford won the House District 34 special primaries held on January 7.

Less than 7% of Flint’s 62,242 registered voters participated in the special election.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called the election after Cynthia Neeley’s husband, Sheldon was elected Flint’s mayor.

A general election is set for March 10.

The candidate chosen March 10 will finish the remainder of Sheldon Neeley’s term, set to expire on December 31, 2020.

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December 20, 2019 •

Michigan Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

The 100th Legislature adjourned sine die at noon on December 19 after more than 100 legislative days in session. During the session, lawmakers voted to pass a bill to revise the rules on the governor transferring funds appropriated by the […]

The 100th Legislature adjourned sine die at noon on December 19 after more than 100 legislative days in session.

During the session, lawmakers voted to pass a bill to revise the rules on the governor transferring funds appropriated by the legislature to a different purpose than the one originally specified.

The legislature also voted to pass a bill to exempt equipment owned by a data center business from local special assessment levies, and some school property tax levies.

Per the state constitution, any business, bill, or joint resolution pending at the final adjournment of a regular session held in an odd-numbered year will carry over with the same status to the next regular session.

The 2020 session is scheduled to begin on January 8, 2020.

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March 29, 2019 •

Michigan Secretary of State Creates Election Security Commission

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson created a new state Election Security Commission along with recommendations to improve the integrity of Michigan’s elections. Included on the board of the Election Security Commission are the clerks of Kalamazoo, Wayne, and Ingham […]

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson created a new state Election Security Commission along with recommendations to improve the integrity of Michigan’s elections.

Included on the board of the Election Security Commission are the clerks of Kalamazoo, Wayne, and Ingham counties.

The commission will begin meeting next month.

The recommendations are expected to be released by the end of the year.

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January 15, 2018 •

Special Election Announced for House District 68

Gov. Rick Snyder announced special election dates for the vacant 68th House District seat. The primary election will be held on August 7 with the general election on November 6, lining up with the special election for U.S. Congress and […]

Gov. Rick Snyder announced special election dates for the vacant 68th House District seat.

The primary election will be held on August 7 with the general election on November 6, lining up with the special election for U.S. Congress and the statewide elections.

The seat was vacated by Andy Schor, who resigned to become the mayor of Lansing.

Pictured: Outgoing Representative Andy Schor

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December 11, 2017 •

Michigan Special Election Called to Replace U.S. Rep. Conyers

Gov. Rick Snyder has called a special election to fill the vacancy for the 13th District of the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. John Conyers resigned on December 6, 2017, amid sexual harassment allegations. The special general election will be […]

Gov. Rick Snyder has called a special election to fill the vacancy for the 13th District of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. John Conyers resigned on December 6, 2017, amid sexual harassment allegations.

The special general election will be held on November 6, 2018.

The special primary election will be held on August 7, 2018.

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September 20, 2017 •

Michigan Governor Signs Campaign Finance Bills into Law

Gov. Rick Snyder signed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United into law on September 20, 2017. Senate Bill 335 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent […]

Gov. Rick Snyder signed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United into law on September 20, 2017.

Senate Bill 335 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent expenditure committees.

Senate Bill 336 incorporate violations established in Senate Bill 335 into the Code of Criminal Procedure.

The bills are effective immediately.

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September 20, 2017 •

Two Campaign Finance Bills Pass Michigan Legislature

The Michigan Legislature passed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United from 2010. Senate Bill 355 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent expenditure committees. Senate Bill […]

The Michigan Legislature passed two campaign finance bills accounting for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United from 2010.

Senate Bill 355 excludes an independent expenditure from the definition of a contribution and defines independent expenditure committees.

Senate Bill 336 incorporates violations established in Senate Bill 335 into the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Opponents of the bills argue it would allow candidates to raise unlimited contributions for independent expenditure committees, often referred to as super PACs.

Gov. Rick Snyder has 14 days upon receipt of the enrolled bills to sign or veto them.

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