New Leadership

As expected, the Republican caucus voted for Representative Tom Leonard III (R-DeWitt Township) to serve as speaker of the House for the 2017-18 term. Representative Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway) was elected as majority floor leader, Representative Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) as speaker pro-tempore, Representative Robert VerHeulen (R-Walker) as the caucus whip and Representative Eric Leutheuser (R-Hillsdale) as caucus chair. The Democratic caucus voted Representative Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) to serve as minority leader for the 2017-18 term. Representative Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) will serve as minority floor leader.

 Heise Resigning

Representative Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth) will resign from his position in the House at the end of next week. His resignation comes following his win in the Plymouth Township supervisor race. His resignation will officially take effect November 18. The House passed HR 356 on Wednesday to honor him and his work.

 SEIU Contract

The three bargaining units in the Service Employees International Union Local 517M saw more than 80 percent in favor of the new two-year pay and benefits contract with the state. It provides 3 percent raises for 2017-18 and 2 percent for 2018-19. The union announced 52 percent of members returned ballots. The Technical unit had 93 percent support among the returned ballots. The Scientific and Engineering unit had 92 percent approved and the Human Services Support Unit had 82 percent. The new contract provisions will take effect with the 2017-18 fiscal year budget on October 1, 2017.