On Wednesday, January 9, the Michigan legislature convened its 100th legislative session and in doing so welcomed several new faces to Lansing. In both the House and the Senate, new leaders assumed their roles, including Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint), House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) and House Democratic Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills).
The Senate announced Committee Chair assignments, including the appointment of Senator Curt Vanderwall (R-Pere Marquette Township) as the new Senate Health Policy Chairman. Also of note, Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland) will serve as the Appropriations Chair and Senator Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford) will serve as Health and Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee Chair. As of January 9, the House Committee assignments had not been released.
Now the work begins but the landscape will look quite different than past years. With a newly-sworn in Democratic Governor, both sides of the aisle will need to find common ground on issues in order to get things done in the new session. While seemingly elusive at the federal level, both the administration and legislative leaders are vowing to do just that. Upon being sworn in as the 49th Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer stated that there are many issues the state needs to address that cross party lines.
Going forward, the Michigan State Medical Society looks forward to working with the legislature, new and returning lawmakers alike, as well as the new administration on bi-partisan issues important to physicians and patients. Here are MSMS's 2019 legislative priorities >>