Tax cut negotiations, special House primaries, frustrated clerks: The week in Michigan politics

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LANSING, MI — Lawmakers focused on tax cut proposals this week as the Legislature advanced plans to cut corporate and personal tax rates.

The Republican-led $2.5 billion-a-year tax proposal has been called fiscally irresponsible by Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who is expected to veto the bills.

Four State House districts held primary elections on Tuesday where seats remained vacant due to three resignations and the death of former Rep. Andrea Schroeder, R-Independence Township.

As election season gets underway, Michigan clerks are calling on the Legislature to work together to pass changes to streamline their processes. Two associations representing Michigan clerks have signed a letter to lawmakers asking them to put politics aside in favor of bipartisan changes to the state’s election procedures.

Here’s more from this week in Michigan politics:

Trump tells Republican delegates to back Matt DePerno for Michigan attorney general

Matthew DePerno, Republican nominee for Michigan Attorney General, addresses several hundred protesters during a rally Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, outside the Michigan Capitol in Lansing, demanding an additional investigation into the 2020 election results Conservative activists have announced a petition initiative to change the state’s post-election audit law. The Republican-led Legislature has not acted on requests for a “forensic audit” from supporters of former President Donald Trump who believe the results were tainted with fraud. (Jake May | MLive.com)Jacques May

Former President Donald Trump has urged Republican delegates to nominate Matthew DePerno for Michigan attorney general, saying his opponent Tom Leonard is an “embarrassment” to the GOP.

Trump praised DePerno, a Kalamazoo lawyer, for promoting unproven claims of voter fraud “when no one else would,” while saying Leonard “represents the loser mentality of all RINOs” who don’t. have not accepted efforts to undo his loss. The former president endorsed DePerno last year before Leonard entered the race, but the letter is a more direct effort to influence the nomination process.

Michigan clerks urge lawmakers to ‘put politics aside’ and pass election changes before November

A letter signed by Delta Township Clerk Mary Clark, president of the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks and Menominee County Clerk Marc Kleiman, president of the Michigan Association of County Clerks, explained what they say needs to happen before the November 2022 elections.

With campaigns already underway, there is not much time to pass legislation. Clerks are asking to allow a functional structure to offer early voting as an option to Michigan voters and provide financial assistance for staff and infrastructure, including drop box security and postage. Additional support is needed to process a more than 100% increase in mail-in ballots statewide since Proposition 18-3 and the COVID-19 pandemic, clerks say.

Ballot proposal seeks to change Michigan term limits and increase legislative transparency

Business, labor and political leaders from across the political spectrum gathered Tuesday to announce the launch of a voting committee that aims to increase financial transparency among Michigan’s elected officials and change the term limits of the State.

The proposal would require state lawmakers to meet the same standards of financial disclosure that are required of Congress. It would also update the state’s constitutional amendment on term limits by reducing the total length a person can serve in the legislature from 14 to 12 years, but allowing lawmakers to serve all 12 years in n any combination or single chamber of the legislature.

$2.5 Billion Tax Cut Advanced by Senate Leaders in Governor’s Office

Michigan Senate

The Michigan Senate chamber is pictured after the session on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

The Michigan Senate has advanced a $2.5 billion-a-year tax proposal led by the state’s Republicans, which is expected to be vetoed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The map inside SB 768 includes a $500 tax credit per child, would reduce the state income tax rate from 4.3% to 3.9%, expand tax breaks for the elderly, and fund reimbursement of retirement debt. The senators also adopted SB 392a separate personal income tax cuts bill that would raise the corporate income tax rate from 6% to 3.9%.

The fiscal plans from the legislature and the governor’s office represent a statement of priorities as lawmakers continue budget negotiations.

Primary elections held for four vacant Michigan Houses seats

Grand Rapids votes in the 2020 election

‘I voted’ stickers are shown in this file photo from a 2020 election. (Photo from MLive File)Cory Morse | MLive.com

Two Trump-aligned Republican candidates won races in special House primaries this week.

Robert Regan, who unsuccessfully ran State House primary campaigns in 2014, 2018 and 2020, defeated Walker City Commissioner and Pro Tem Mayor Steven Gilbert with 2,404 votes to Gilbert’s 2,323 votes, according to the unofficial election results. Pending certification of the results, Regan will face Democratic candidate Carol Glanville, commissioner of Walker City, in the special general election in May.

Regan caused a stir on social media this week for conspiratorial tweets about what is happening in Ukraine.

In Macomb County’s 36th State House District, vacated by the current Senator. Doug Wozniak, R-Shelby Township, Terence Mekoski won the Republican primary by 328 votes, according to unofficial election results. He will face Democrat James Diez in the general election in May.

The top voters from the May 3 election cycles will serve for the remainder of the current legislative session or until the end of the year. They are eligible to run again in the August primary and November general elections for the next session.

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