Thursday, January 19, 2023

State House Companion Bill Would Also Push Michigan Presidential Primary to February 27

The recently introduced state Senate bill to move the Michigan presidential primary to the fourth Tuesday in February now has a companion in the state House. 

Rep. Noah Arbit (D-20th, West Bloomfield) and 24 Democratic co-sponsors filed HB 4029, a duplicate of the Senate legislation, on Wednesday. Like the Senate bill, this legislation would also shift the Michigan presidential primary into a position on February 27 that is in line with the calendar proposal adopted by the DNC Rules and Bylaws Committee (DNCRBC) in December. 

A key procedural difference on the House side is that HB 4029 was referred to the Elections Committee. That seems to indicate a more normal legislative process ahead. The state Senate took a seemingly more streamlined path in skipping the committee referral for its version of the legislation and immediately pushing it to consideration by the Committee on the Whole. Regardless, both chambers will need to quickly consider the move and pass it on to Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) for her signature in order to meet the DNCRBC-imposed February 1 deadline.

Notably also, there were no Republican co-sponsors of the legislation. But due to legislative rules in Michigan, Republicans are more necessary on the Senate side of this process than in the House where Democrats hold a one seat majority. 

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