Saturday, January 3, 2015

Close of Michigan Session Kills Presidential Primary Bill

The Michigan state legislature gaveled to a close on Tuesday, December 30. This was more a formal adjournment than anything else as no votes were taken. The real meat of the legislative day was the transmission of messages between the two chambers and between each and the executive branch.

Some of that dealt with late bills that were passed and to then be sent on to the governor. Other messages, however, were delivered informing the houses that the other had failed to act on a piece of legislation passed in the other originating chamber. The latter was the fate met by SB 1159. After the lame duck Senate passed the bill to move the Michigan presidential primary back into compliance with the national party rules -- from the fourth Tuesday in February to the third Tuesday in March -- the state House did not or was not able to act on it.

On December 30, the House informed the Senate of as much. When the chambers both adjourned sine die, then, the presidential primary bill died with it. However, the effort to shift the presidential primary in Michigan to a later date likely will not die as well. Again, this is a move endorsed by the Michigan Republican Party and driven in the legislature by the Senate majority leader. Republicans control both chambers of the Michigan legislature and the governor's mansion in the state. That does not mean that a shift in the Michigan primary calendar position is a sure thing, but it does mean that action to that end is likely forthcoming in the early part of the 2015 legislative session.

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