Control of State House Looks to be a ‘Toss-Up"
After the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission did its work, the popular analysis in town was the Democrats made significant gains in the Senate map, but the Republicans made out well enough in the state House map to keep majority.

MIRS’ first ground-level look at where things stand at this point in time shows a 100% jump ball for the state House. 

If the numbers don’t tighten for Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor DIXON, the odds favor the Democrats to take control of the House for the first time since the 2008 election.

MIRS’ initial look has Republican candidates at least a slight favorite in 52 seats, Democrats at least a slight favorite in 51 seats and seven being complete toss-ups.

Of the 52 Republican favorites, five are soft favorites, meaning they could still lose in the district’s makeup. Of the Democrats, 11 are soft favorites.

Consider this for a moment: of the 110 House seats, 23 can be legitimately classified as competitive. How did this happen?

The 2022 House elections are unique in that term limits and early departures have opened up 52 seats, nearly half the chamber. Of those, 15 are in districts with base numbers between 55% Democratic and 55% Republican.

Since Michigan had an independent commission mandated by the constitution to not take incumbents into account, we don’t know how these districts will play.

However, with recent polling showing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer up by 16 percentage points on Tudor DIXON, Republicans are getting nervous. If Whitmer hits 53%, other statewide Democratic candidates will begin feeling confident. At 55%, Whitmer will have legislative coattails. 

If the House goes Democratic, the Senate is likely Democratic. If the House goes Democratic, Whitmer has won convincingly and it will be the first time since 1982 — 40 years — since the Democrats have swept everything.

That’s a massive change from the prognosis only six months ago, prior to the Dobbs decision, when a Red Wave was in Michigan’s long-term forecast.

It’s not just the polling that has Republicans nervous. Outside of Washington D.C. money coming in for congressional candidates Tom Barrett (R-Charlotte) (MI-7) and Paul Junge (MI-8), Republicans have very little paid advertising going on right now. 

The national Republican money is going to North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin and Florida. Very little is coming to Michigan. Whitmer and the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) are not stopping with their air game. Right to Life and its allies are spending 100% of their attention on defeating Proposal 3 because "that’s the ball game" for them.

If the pro-life movement loses Proposal 3, it’s catastrophic for their movement in Michigan and they know it.

Outside of the money, does the Michigan Republican Party have the organization to win competitive seats against Democrats after some contentious internal disputes? That’s a rhetorical question, at the moment.

To say a Blue Wave is coming, though, may be overstating things. Macomb County, rural Genesee County and Northern Michigan still look favorable for the Republicans.  Conservative congressional candidate John James is separating himself as a favorite in MI-10, for instance.

Parts of West Michigan are likely a few years away from going blue, at the least. 

But a cluster of House seats in Kent County and Downriver look better for Democrats than Republicans, which make declaring a clear favorite for the House difficult. 

Shirkey Hitting the Airwaves Hard on Proposal 3
As reported by Gongwer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey again urged the defeat of the proposed constitutional amendment that would establish abortion rights in the state during a Friday interview, saying voters should allow the Legislature to update the existing 1931 abortion ban law.

The majority leader, speaking on JTV’s "The Bart Hawley Show," reiterated his belief that Proposal 22-3, brought forward by Reproductive Freedom for All, was overly broad and dangerous.

"To me, the logical thing, defeat this so that the citizens of Michigan through their representatives can have a chance to modernize, if you want to say that, the 1931 law," Mr. Shirkey (R-Clarklake) said.

Millions of dollars in advertising for and against the proposal are expected to be spent on the measure that, if passed, would enshrine the right to an abortion in the Constitution. The move by proponents was accelerated in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to undo the decades-old Roe v. Wade decision, which put the question of abortion back to the states.

Mr. Shirkey added that he has several friends and family members who support abortion rights.

"But when I explain to them what the entirety of what this ballot initiative … will do, and put in our Constitution, to a person they say, ‘Oh, wait a minute. That’s way too far for me,’" Mr. Shirkey said, adding his wife has been joining a group talking to people at their doors nightly in opposition to the proposal. "I may have had three people so far say ‘well, I’m still going to vote for it.’"

Opponents of the proposal have argued it is overly broad and would repeal multiple laws including requirements for parental consent and that abortions are performed by doctors and setting clinic safety standards.

Reproductive Freedom for All has countered those laws would not be affected, and that the proposal would protect rights that existed since Roe.

Mr. Shirkey also spoke about the nonbinding resolution he introduced during Tuesday’s session, SR 166 , which was adopted along party lines, condemning the Department of Education’s teacher training videos on student gender orientation "and reaffirm the fundamental right of parents to direct the education of their children."

Mr. Shirkey’s resolution came to the floor shortly after Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon, at a Lansing press conference, called for the resignation of Superintendent of Public Instruction Michael Rice Lansing after a video of a teacher training seminar on gender issues surfaced online.

Mr. Shirkey and other conservatives say department policies encourage teachers and administrators to withhold information from parents about a child’s use of self-identified gender pronouns, even if a student has been identified as suicidal.

He said the issues raised by Democrats in opposition to his resolution concerning the LGBT community have nothing to do with his resolution.

"I don’t care if the topics of the tapes were on school sports or personal finance," Mr. Shirkey said. "You don’t interview and talk to students and be trained to make sure … if they say something that maybe we shouldn’t tell their parents."

Mr. Shirkey said his point was that, regardless of the topic, the idea is to ensure parental involvement in the process.

"The training in my mind, and in a lot of people’s minds, is just another step in the direction of government and bureaucracy stepping in-between kids and parents," Mr. Shirkey said.

Mr. Shirkey added if he were governor, he would want to make the state superintendent an appointed position.

Indian Tribe Deal With Marijuana Regulators Gets House OK
A pair of bills to allow the state Marijuana Regulatory Agency to contract with Michigan Indian tribes passed through the House, 102-6. 

Currently, Michigan’s Indian tribes, considered sovereign entities, are responsible for regulating the sale of marijuana on tribal land themselves, according to the Marijuana Regulatory Agency Tribal Consultation Policy. 

But Rep. Roger Hauck (R-Union Twp.), who sponsored HB 5706, said tribes aren’t legally able to transport or sell marijuana to customers off tribal land. 

HB 5706 allows the Marijuana Regulatory Agency to contract with Indian tribes for the purpose of operating tribal marijuana businesses if the business is wholly owned by a qualifying tribe or its members and is located on tribal lands. 

Hauck said that means tribal dispensaries will be regulated like their non-tribal counterparts, including state tagging and testing. They will also be allowed to operate the same way. 

But there is one difference for tribal dispensaries. 

The bill removes the 10% state excise tax on marijuana sold, allowing tribes to impose their own tax as long as it’s based on sales price and its equal or greater to the original tax. 

Hauck’s bill, along with HB 6060, sponsored by Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor), also address the allocation of unexpended balances attributable to marijuana retailers. 

Normally, unexpended balances would be allocated to a municipality. 

But the bills instead allocate those funds to the tribe where the marijuana retailer is located. 

The bills await action in the Senate. 


Slotkin, Barrett Clash on Abortion, Economy in First TV Debate

Culture Wars Divide Michigan Schools.  How Many Rights Should Parents Have?

Bill Intends to Shorten ER Waits for Youth in Mental Health Crises

Michigan Hopes to Fight Shortage of Child Care Programs

The Legislature was Back in Action Last Week.  Here Are Some Political Highlights…

Marijuana News, Updates, & Articles of Interest


DCD continues to exist as the premier resource helping municipalities navigate the waters of cannabis policy. We would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have regarding medical or recreational cannabis policy, procedure, and more. DCD is available for presentations to municipal boards, for one-on-one meetings, and for consultations.

We are here to help you with: municipal lobbying, license application writing and assistance, business plans, state required operations manuals and compliance, facility design, corporate structure, and design and branding. 

We are experts in both medical and recreational cannabis policy and have been in the space for over ten years.  We welcome any opportunity to work with you in the future!


Michigan State Police Silent on Marijuana Testing Debacle; Critics Call for Change

Marijuana Funneling From Michigan to States Where it’s Illegal

Pizzeria Chain Bakes Marijuana Into the Dough

Seven Marijuana Dispensaries in Progress in Saline

Michigan Sees A Drop in Price of Marijuana

Doing Things Differently

DCD is rebranding, and our bottom line is your bottom line. We are striving to create and foster strong relationships with clients and lawmakers, deliver results with strong ethics and class, but above all else, out-hustle and out-smart our competition every day to be the very best. We’re making chess moves while others are playing checkers. Everything we do is with you in mind, we’re doing things we’ve never done before and aggressively pursuing opportunities. The time is now. DCD has taken our firm to the next level and your involvement and investment paired with our knowledge and expertise is going to launch the great state of Michigan forward. | 248.693.1391