The 2018 mid-term elections are history
The 2018 mid-term elections are history and it’s time to assess what that means for small business in Michigan in the coming state legislative session.
2018 Election Recap:
In Congressional elections, incumbent Democrat U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow retained her seat, incumbent Republican Congressman Mike Bishop of the 8th district lost his reelection bid to challenger Democrat Elissa Slotkin, and the previously Republican open 11th Congressional seat was won by Democrat Haley Stevens. In summary, the Democrats picked up two seats to change the Michigan U.S. House delegation from 5 Democrats and 9 Republicans to 7 Democrats and 7 Republicans.
In state races, Democrat candidates won the races for Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State – offices that were previously held by Republicans. Although the state House and Senate remain in Republican control, Democrat candidates picked up five additional Senate seats to change the Senate make-up from 27 Republicans and 11 Democrats to 22 Republicans and 16 Democrats. In the state House Democrats also gained 5 seats changing the Republican majority from a 63 – 47 advantage to a 58-52 Republican majority.
The Democrats also gained one seat on the state Supreme Court with candidate Megan Cavanaugh defeating incumbent Justice Kurtis Wilder changing the current 5-2 split favoring Republicans to a 4-3 split. While on paper it would be presumed that Republicans still retain control of the court with the 4-3 advantage, Republican nominated Justices Elizabeth Clement and David Viviano have recently sided with the Democrat nominated justices on several key cases. This trend casts doubt on whether the high court will continue to be viewed as a conservative venue for future case decisions.
Finally, all three ballot proposals legalizing marijuana, moving redistricting to a commission and increasing voting access were passed by Michigan voters. It is important to note here that NFIB efforts were successful in pulling paid sick leave mandate and minimum wage hike proposals off the ballot. This action allowed for changes to these proposals to diminish the harm to small business (see related article on the 2018 Lame Duck Session).
Certainly, the end of eight years of total Republican control and a return to a divided state government will create new challenges for small business in Michigan. A preview of what 2019 could hold for small business can be viewed HERE.