Senate leaders announce committees

January 11, 2019

Press Release from Senator Shirkey's office

LANSING—Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich, D-Flint, today announced senate standing committee and appropriations subcommittee members.

“We expect the committee process to be deliberative and thorough.  We look forward to robust policy debates and bipartisan work product, where possible,” reiterated Sen. Shirkey.  We’ve done our best to partner senators with the issue areas where they have interest, expertise, and passion. I know my colleagues are eager to get to work” said Sen. Shirkey.

“Committees are the front lines for making Michigan a better place than we found it,” Sen. Ananich said.  “We are ready to get to work. The incoming class of senators has a wide range of professional experience that they bring to the table, experience that makes them real-life experts on their given committees. Our constituents expect us to work together on their behalf, and I anticipate many opportunities for bipartisanship and progress this term.”

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Robotics team kicks off new season

January 10, 2019

By Shelby Tankersley, The Oxford Leader

After travelling to the FIRST World Championships last year to flex their scientific muscles through robotics, Oxford High School’s TORC 2137 robotics team kicked off a new season on Jan. 5 with another world championships appearance this spring on their minds.


In a show of support for the TORC team and STEM education, the newly-elected 12th District State Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D-Beverly Hills) was present at the Jan. 5 event to say a few words to students.

During an interview following her brief speech, Bayer described herself as “an absolute robot freak” and said exploring an  interest in robotics, as well as other forms of technology, is “not geeky, it’s cool.”

“I’ve worked with robots and computers my whole adult life and want to keep doing it,” she said. “So, I will help these guys as much as I can.”

Bayer is a proponent of STEM programs in schools and is particularly interested in “getting girls more involved” in them.

“FIRST robotics really does help prepare those kids for the next stage,” she said. “When we look at what’s needed for our economy, especially (in) Michigan, we need more high-tech. We need more people that are motivated to study that (field) and do work in that (sector). FIRST robotics is particularly  strong (when it comes to) bringing forward kids who will pursue technology as they go farther in school.”

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Senator Bayer ready to get to work for Oakland County residents in 100th Legislature

January 09, 2019

Press Release from Senator Bayer's office - Contact: Katie Reiter, (517) 373-2417,

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Rosemary Bayer (D–Beverly Hills) took the oath of office today to serve the citizens of Michigan’s 12th Senate District. “I will be a strong advocate for all of Oakland County to hold polluters accountable, fix our roads and expand access to health care,” Sen. Bayer said. “As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I will work to grow and support our emerging economy.”

Sen. Bayer named Katie Reiter as chief of staff, Chloe Grabowski as legislative director and Spencer Bussineau as constituent services director.

The 12th Senate District includes the cities of Auburn Hills, Keego Harbor, Pontiac, and Sylvan Lake, the townships of Addison, Bloomfield, Independence, Oakland, Orion, Oxford and Southfield, and the villages of Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms, Franklin, and Clarkston in Oakland County.

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53 women in Michigan's Legislature is alarming. Here's why.

January 06, 2019

By Nancy Kaffer, Detroit Free Press

For Michigan women, the 2018 midterm elections were an unparalleled triumph. Women ran for office in record numbers. Organized, campaigned and voted in record numbers. And won, in record numbers. Michiganders elected women to the offices of governor, attorney general and secretary of state, and sent six women to the U.S. Congress. 

Michiganders elected a whopping 53 women to the state Legislature, enough to propel Michigan from the middle ranks of female representation to 12th in the nation, per the Center for American Women and Politics. These are remarkable victories, and after years of stagnation, it's real growth. 

And it's depressing. 

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Senate Democratic Leadership Positions Announced

January 03, 2019

Press Release from Senator Ananich's office

Ananich builds experienced, diverse team to lead caucus

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) announced the full slate of 2019-2023 Senate Democratic Caucus leadership positions.

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Michigan's 100th legislature gains women, scientists

December 31, 2018

By Catherine Shaffer, Michigan Radio

Women and scientists are making gains in the Michigan legislature in the new session starting January 1. Women are going from 34 seats to 42 in the House of Representatives. In the Senate, women gain seven seats, going from four to eleven. Each chamber is picking up at least three new members with a science, medical, or engineering background.

Laurie Pohutsky is a microbiologist and the incoming Democratic representative from Livonia. She says her science knowledge will inform her work on issues like the environment and women's health.


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Michigan legislators using lame duck to undermine will of voters on Proposal 2

December 17, 2018

By Mark Cavitt & Norb Franz, Macomb Daily (Digital First Media)

The current legislative districts were last drawn by the Senate and House redistricting committees in 2011 following the 2010 census when Republicans had majorities in both chambers. The numbers from the Nov. 6 election tend to bolster the argument that congressional and legislative districts were drawn to benefit Republicans after the last census.

Among Michigan congressional seats, Democrats were able to turn a 9-5 Republican majority into a 7-7 split. In the Michigan Legislature, Democrats flipped six House seats and five Senate seats, but Republicans still maintain the majority in the Senate, 22-17, and in the House, 58-52, even though Democrats garnered more total votes statewide.

In neighboring Oakland County, Democrats flipped two House seats (Districts 40 and 41) and two Senate seats (Districts 12 and 13) via a large increase in Democratic votes. In fact, Sen.-Elect Mallory McMorrow needed more than 73,000 votes to defeat incumbent Republican Sen. Marty Knollenberg in District 13, while Sen.-elect Rosemary Bayer needed more than 59,000 votes to defeat Republican Mike McCready – who was term-limited in the state House -- in District 12. Both Bayer and McMorrow won by an average of 3,143 votes, a very slim margin.

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State Sen. Elect Rosemary Bayer shares her thoughts on #LameDuck.

December 10, 2018

Video published by 'For Our Future Michigan' >

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Gerrymandering 101: How voters favor Dems, but GOP keeps Michigan Legislature

November 29, 2018

By Mike Wilkinson & Riley Beggin, Bridge Magazine

Republicans will keep power in Michigan’s Legislature next year, even though Democrats got more votes statewide and dramatically slashed margins in safe GOP seats, a Bridge Magazine analysis shows.

Although Democrats flipped six House seats (and lost one) and five Senate seats, they couldn’t overcome built-in advantages from political districts drawn by Republican mapmakers in 2011.

But Michigan’s legislative districts are recognized by experts as among the most gerrymandered in the country. By law, the party in control of Lansing after the decennial Census redraws districts –  and that’s been Republicans in 2001 and again in 2011.

“The lines were drawn to withstand a significant change in public opinion,” said John McGlennon, a government and public policy professor at William and Mary, a public university in Virginia, and an expert in redistricting.

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Can Michigan Senate's new leader be a grown-up?

November 20, 2018

By Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press

Sixteen newly elected Democratic Michigan state senators learned last week that they're in line to get half the number of staff, and about 60% as much money to provide constituent services, as their Republican colleagues.

Per Michigan law, each of the 38 state senators elected to four-year terms last week represents approximately 238,000 Michigan residents. Each gets an annual salary of about $72,000 a year, plus expenses to staff and operate an office.   

But that's where the golden rule —  you know, the one ordaining that whoever owns the most gold makes the rules — comes in.

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Women set new record in state legislatures

November 15, 2018

By Reid Wilson, The Hill

More than 2,000 women will take office next year in state legislatures across the country, a number that smashes the previous record for women who have held legislative seats.

A tally by the Center for American Women in Government at Rutgers University shows at least 1,743 women won state legislative seats in last week's midterm elections. That number will grow; 185 races with at least one woman still in the running have yet to be called.

Those who win will join the 276 women who hold seats that were not up for election on Tuesday.

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Oakland County the 'epicenter' of Michigan's blue wave in midterm elections

November 15, 2018

By John Counts, MLive

The once-reliable Republican enclave of Oakland County turned blue on election night.

Democrats there won four congressional races, flipped four seats in the Michigan Legislature and gained a majority on the Oakland County Board of Commissioners for the first time in 40 years.

"They won everything," said Oakland University political science professor David Dulio. "Nationally there was no blue wave but there was a lot of localized flooding. That localized flooding was really significant here in Michigan and I think you could say Oakland County was the epicenter of that."

From activist to senator

The victory of Rosemary Bayer to the state senate is emblematic of what happened in Michigan's wealthiest county on election night. It's the story of a woman who had never held office before toppling a member of the Republican establishment.

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General Election Results – Nov. 6, 2018

November 15, 2018

By James Newell, The Lake Orion Review

State Senate – 12th District
Democrat Rosemary Bayer won the 12th District seat with 59,297 votes (49.34 percent), defeating Republican Michael McCready, who had 58,362 votes (48.56 percent). Libertarian Jeff Pittel received 2,403 votes (2 percent) and there were 111 unassigned write-in votes.

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No ‘Blue Wave’ in Oxford or Addison

November 15, 2018

By CJ Carnacchio, Oxford Leader

The ‘Blue Wave’ hit Michigan hard in the Nov. 6 general election as Democrats were elected to all the major state offices and the U.S. Congress. But in Oxford and Addison townships, there was no ‘Blue Wave’ as most voters cast their ballots for Republican candidates.

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