LANSING — With a new year upon us and an incoming “tri-fecta” for Democrats in Michigan, here are five things to expect in 2023:
- Governor Whitmer Reorganizes Executive Branch: With Democrats in charge of the State Senate and State House, Governor Whitmer has promised to reorganize the executive branch. Whitmer said in a recent end of year press event that she wants to look at reorganizing state government. Whether that means new departments, splitting departments into two or more or combining departments remains to be seen.
- House and Senate Committees will have hearings on new issues: Gone are the days of the Education committee holding hearings on conspiracy theories. With Democrats holding all the gavels in the legislature, hearings should focus on legislation that will eventually become law.
- Investigations: Democrats have called for legislative investigations into the leadership of Lee Chatfield when he was Speaker of the House. For two years, Republican leaders – many of whom took money from Chatfield – have resisted. Expect hearings and fireworks around this issue.
- Presidential hopefuls will be here: Democrats have proposed moving Michigan up in its nominating contest which could guarantee a lot of visits from current President Joe Biden and any other national Democrat exploring a run in 2024 and possibly 2028. Republicans haven’t made an announcement on Michigan’s spot on the calendar but with Michigan one of the remaining “Purple States” expect a lot of visits from anyone exploring a run.
- More Transparency: Governor Whitmer has called for lobbying reform in 2023 and Senator Jeremy Moss has promised to bring up the expansion of FOIA for the legislature and governor’s office for a vote. If both pass, expect newly empowered citizens and reporters to use the tool to keep Michiganders informed about what happens behind the scenes in Lansing.