The results of elections earlier this month threw quite a curve ball to the Michigan Legislature. Last week, two House Democrats ran for their respective hometown mayoral seats – both winning. Consequently, the Democratic majority of 56-54 in the House is erased until special elections to fill those two vacant House seats can occur.
Current speculation is that the special elections for the 13th and 25th House districts will not take place until May. As a result of temporarily losing its majority, the Democrat-led Legislature held two marathon sessions last week to get as many bills passed before approving a concurrent resolution that would formally adjourn the House and Senate for the remainder of the year.
With the Legislature heading home for the holidays early, everything legislatively is put on hold at least until after the New Year. That means the several pieces of legislation that MFDA has been working on, such as bills adding regulatory structures for crematories, removal services and refrigeration facilities, and measures speeding up medical certification of death records, are paralyzed for the time being.
It's likely the Senate, which maintains its current Democratic majority, will conduct business as usual after the New Year, but, at this juncture, it’s an open question whether the House will return for regular business before March – when it will need to begin the FY 2024-25 budget process.
Our hope is we will see movement on MFDA-sponsored bills in the Senate throughout the winter months, but action in the Michigan House may be unlikely until the spring.