Tax cut negotiations, special House primaries, frustrated clerks: The week in Michigan politics – MLive.com

The Michigan Capitol building, 100 N. Capitol Ave. in Lansing on Dec. 4, 2018. (Jacob Hamilton | MLive.com)Jacob Hamilton/MLive.com
LANSING, MI — Lawmakers were focused on tax cut proposals this week as the Legislature advanced plans to slash corporate and personal income tax rates.
The $2.5 billion per year tax proposal, led by Republicans, has been called fiscally irresponsible by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who is expected to veto the bills.
Four state House districts held primary elections Tuesday where seats were left vacant due to three resignations and the death of former Rep. Andrea Schroeder, R-Independence Township.
With election season underway, Michigan clerks are calling on the Legislature to work together to pass changes to streamline their processes. Two associations representing Michigan clerks 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 candidate for Michigan Attorney General, speaks to several hundred demonstrators at a rally Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 outside MichiganÕs Capitol in Lansing, demanding an additional investigation into 2020 election results. Conservative activists announced a petition initiative aimed at changing state law on post-election audits. The Republican-led Legislature has not acted on demands for a Òforensic auditÓ from supporters of former President Donald Trump who believe the results were tainted by fraud. (Jake May | MLive.com)Jake May
Former President Donald Trump 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 attorney, for promoting unproven allegations of voter fraud “when nobody else would” while saying Leonard “represents the loser mentality of all the RINOs” who didn’t go along with efforts to overturn 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 nominating process.
Michigan clerks ask lawmakers to ‘put politics aside,’ 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, laid out what they say needs to happen before the November 2022 election.
With campaigns already underway, there’s not much time to pass legislation. Clerks are asking to allow for a functional structure to offer early voting as an option for Michigan voters and provide funding assistance for the staff and infrastructure, including dropbox security and postage costs. Additional support is needed to process an over 100% increase in the number of absentee ballots statewide since Proposal 18-3 and the COVID-19 pandemic, clerks say.
Ballot proposal aims to change Michigan’s term limits, increase legislative transparency
Business, labor and political leaders from across the political spectrum came together Tuesday to announce the launch of a ballot committee that aims to increase financial transparency among Michigan’s elected officials and change the state’s term limits
The proposal would require state lawmakers to meet the same financial disclosure standards as are required of Congress. It would also update the state’s constitutional amendment related to term limits by reducing the total time someone can serve in the legislature from 14 to 12 years, but allowing legislators the option of serving all 12 years in any combination of or single chamber of the Legislature.
$2.5B tax cut advanced by Senate heads to governor’s desk
The Michigan Senate chamber is pictured following session on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.
The Michigan Senate advanced a $2.5 billion per year tax proposal led by state Republicans which is expected to be vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
The plan within SB 768 includes a $500 per child tax credit, would cut the state income tax rate from 4.3% to 3.9%, expand tax breaks for seniors and put funding toward paying down pension debt. Senators also passed SB 392, a bill separate from the personal income rate tax cuts that would lower the corporate income tax rate from 6% to 3.9%.
Tax 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 House seats
"I voted" stickers are shown in this file photo from a 2020 election. (MLive file photo)Cory Morse | MLive.com
Two Trump-aligned Republican candidates won races in special House primary elections this week.
Robert Regan, who had unsuccessfully run state House primary campaigns in 2014, 2018 and 2020, defeated Walker City Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Steven Gilbert with 2,404 votes to Gilbert’s 2,323 votes, according to unofficial election results. Pending certification of the results, Regan will face Democratic candidate Carol Glanville, a Walker City Commissioner, in the special general election in May.
Regan caused a stir on social media this week for conspiracy-ridden tweets about what’s happening in Ukraine.
In Macomb County’s 36th state House district, left vacant by now-Sen. 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 May’s general election.
The top vote-getters in the May 3 election cycles will serve for the remainder of the current legislative session, or through the end of the year. They’re eligible to run again in the August primary and November general election for the upcoming session.
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