Advocacy in Action Update: Chamber Supports Term Limit Reforms; PAC Endorses Tom Leondard; Advocates for Wright Museum, Detroit Historical Society MillageMarch 23, 2022
Chamber Officially Supports State Legislative Term Limits Reform and More Robust Financial Transparency Reporting
The Detroit Regional Chamber Board Executive Committee last week voted to support a bipartisan initiative that would make significant changes to rules for those serving in the Michigan Legislature, including term limit reform and financial transparency.
While reducing term limits for Michigan legislators from a 14 to a 12-year cap for service, this proposal allows for the flexibility for these 12 years to be spent in any combination between the House and Senate. Currently, the maximum service is set at six years in the House and eight years in the Senate, for a total of 14 years. This proposal would allow any combination not to exceed 12 years (i.e., all 12 years in the House, or two years in House and eight in the Senate).
Chamber Perspective: While term limits have broad popular appeal, the current short term limits prevent elected officials from developing much-needed experience in legislating and on complicated issues. The Chamber opposed term limits when they were enacted in the 1990s and this action taken by the Executive Committee is consistent with past Chamber policy.
Michigan legislators have some of the most lax financial reporting requirements in the nation. This initiative would also require members of the Michigan Legislature, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State to report their financial holding at the same level of detail (or greater) as that required of members of Congress.
Chamber Perspective: Michigan’s grade for public transparency is among the lowest in the nation; this is a positive step in rectifying the disparity.
Mayor Mike Duggan, former Republican Speaker of the House Jase Bolger, and recently retired Michigan Chamber Chief Executive Officer Rich Studley are leading this bipartisan effort.
Chamber PAC Endorses Republican Tom Leonard
The Chamber Political Action Committee (PAC) has begun its political endorsement process for 2022. In its first action of the season, the PAC endorsed former Speaker of the House Tom Leonard for the Republican nomination for Attorney General. The Chamber previously endorsed Leonard for his seat in the Michigan House and for his 2018 bid for Attorney General.
Chamber Providing Early Support for Wright Museum and Detroit Historical Society Millage Effort
The Charles H. Wright Museum and the Detroit Historical Society are seeking a millage to be placed on the August ballot in Wayne County to support their ongoing operations. Before this millage can be placed on the ballot, the state Legislature must pass legislation for this to occur. The Chamber’s Government Relations team is supporting this effort. Should the issue be successful in making it to the ballot, the Chamber Board will be asked to consider formally endorsing the millage.