House Republican Leader Matt Hall on Tuesday introduced a proposal to compel a bipartisan power-sharing agreement in the Michigan House of Representatives as the partisan makeup of the legislative chamber moves to a tie between Republicans and Democrats.
Two House Democrats were elected to other offices last week, which will leave the House with 54 Democrats and 54 Republicans once both legislators have resigned. The Democrat-controlled House voted last week to end session until January, and Hall, R-Richland Township, called for bipartisan collaboration when the House reconvenes.
“Michiganders want their leaders to work together to make our state safe and successful,” Hall said. “The balance of power in the House of Representatives is a call to bipartisanship, and Michigan legislators on both sides of the aisle should answer the call and find common ground. We should start by crafting a bipartisan power-sharing agreement, and we can work together to get results for our state.
“We can protect taxpayers by charting a more accountable, responsible path forward on economic development. We can protect Michigan students by approving the bipartisan school safety and mental health plan. And we can help people drive to work and school by determining how to invest our resources to repair local roads and bridges. House Republicans are focused on Michiganders’ priorities. We hope Speaker Tate and House Democrats will join us.”
Hall’s resolution would require the House of Representatives to approve a power-sharing agreement if the House has an equal number of Democrats and Republicans at any time during the 102nd Legislature. The caucus leaders would negotiate an agreement, which would then require approval by a majority of representatives. A power-sharing agreement could be ended at any time by a majority of the House in a record roll call vote. Hall suggested the negotiated agreement might, for example, provide for equal representation on committees to reflect the bipartisan balance in the House.
Hall submitted the resolution on Monday, but the speaker refused to read the resolution in during the final session Tuesday.
“As Michigan struggles to grow, the governor just wants to slap a Band-Aid on our economy while ignoring the deep-seated problems that Democrat policies have exacerbated,” Hall said. “Our state needs to strengthen our economy by lowering our taxes and fostering a fair, reasonable regulatory environment that makes sense for Michigan workers and small businesses.”
“Speaker Tate still refuses to admit that the House is in shared power, but he’s feeling its effects as House Republicans rack up wins each time Democrats move our way. But even as Republicans secure victories, Democrats are blocking progress on the pressing issues facing Michiganders.”