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Aiyash Most Liberal In House, Schriver Most Conservative

November 28, 2023

Though the candidates for most conservative House member stood out pretty quickly — with members of the Freedom Caucus voting no on pretty much all of Democrats’ legislative priorities — the candidate for most liberal House member was harder to spot.

MIRS looked at 49 roll call votes from 2023 on subjects ranging from electronic liquor rebate coupons to “red flag” and safe storage gun legislation and raising the marriage age to 18. We ultimately found Rep. Abraham Aiyash (D-Hamtramck) with the chamber’s most liberal voting record and Rep. Josh Schriver (R-Oxford) with the most conservative voting record.

Aiyash, also the House Majority Floor Leader, is a second-term House member who began the year with a historic position as the first Muslim majority floor leader, and who more recently faced off against Republicans like Rep. Bill G. Schuette (R-Midland) over a resolution supporting Israel’s right to self-defense in the still-ongoing conflict with Palestine.

Aiyash voted the most progressive position 98% of the time, and didn’t miss any of the roll call votes used by MIRS to tally.

House Democrats have advanced a lot of important priorities, Aiyash said, and he’s proud to have his votes reflective of that, along with being strong, liberal leaders.

“Our job is to keep the gavel, and I think Michigan voters are going to reward us next November,” he said.

Aiyash added that he’s currently the highest-ranking Muslim state legislator in the country, which “lets me know how far we need to go . . . so that people with different lived experiences are in these positions of power.”

Aiyash said he’s blessed to be the first, but definitely doesn’t want to be the last, and added that he wants to enact the best policy, rather than fixate on labels.

The House Majority Floor Leader was closely followed by 20 Democrats who voted the progressive position 96% of the time, only separated by one vote on HB 4716.

Debate – Rep. Josh Schriver (@repjoshschriver) November 17, 2023

He likened the timeline to being a child in school getting their homework at 7 p.m. on a Monday, and having to turn it in on Tuesday morning, which he said takes around 80% to 90% of his focus and detracts from important policy conversations with colleagues.

But Schriver said that having the bills earlier would not have changed any of his votes, though it would improve public awareness and engagement with the legislative process.

“Right now, we’re really seeing the fruit of the seeds of corruption that were planted 100 years ago,” Schriver said, referencing what he said started during prohibition in the 1920s.

He said transparency starts with the elected officials, and said his own involvement in the legislative process has been his own beacon of hope.

Schriver said things like publicly sharing his voting record, along with explanations for why he voted one way, have helped him promote transparency.

As is common in these Most Liberal/Most Conservative rankings, no Republican was more liberal than any Democrat and no Democrat was more conservative than any Republican, and this year none came close.

The most liberal ranking amongst Republicans was 54%, which Rep. Mark Tisdel (R-Rochester Hills) earned. The lowest liberal ranking amongst Democrats was Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit)’s 86%, and no other Democrats received lower than 92%.

The Votes Used

1. HB 4002, sponsored by Rep. Nate Shannon (D-Sterling Heights), increases the value of the state Earned Income Tax Credit from 6% to 30%. Liberal vote is yes.
2. HB 4006, sponsored by Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia), repeals the penalties for administering an abortion. Liberal vote is yes.
3. SB 12, sponsored by Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia), eliminates provisions that largely require students not reading at a second-grade level by the end of third grade to be held back for the following school year. Liberal vote is yes.
4. SB 4, sponsored by Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield), expands the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to extend to members of the LGBTQ+ community facing discrimination. Liberal vote is yes.
5. HB 4007, sponsored by Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac), reinstates “prevailing wage” for state construction projects receiving public funding. Liberal vote is yes.
6. HB 4138, sponsored by Rep. Kara Hope (D-Lansing), creates a Uniform Power of Attorney Act. Liberal vote is yes.
35. HB 4619, sponsored by Rep. Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo), adds health insurance requirements codifying the Affordable Care Act in Michigan. Liberal vote is yes.
36. SB 14, sponsored by Sen. Sean McCann (D-Kalamazoo), removes the “no stricter than federal” requirements for state environmental protection statutes. Liberal vote is yes.
37. HB 4200, sponsored by Rep. Helena Scott (D-Detroit), establishes requirements for Michigan minors to be screened for lead poisoning at certain ages, with requirements set up through the Department of Health and Human Services. Liberal vote is yes.
38. HB 4447, sponsored by Aiyash, designates Eid al Adha and Eid al-Fitr as state recognized holidays. Liberal vote is yes.
39. HB 4568, sponsored by Rep. Karen Whitsett (D-Detroit), again allows paid transportation to the polls. Liberal vote is yes.
40. HB 4983, sponsored by Tsernoglou, sets up a new method ultimately expanding automatic voter registration by allowing individuals to be automatically opted in, setting up a later form for cancellation by mail. Liberal vote is yes.
41. SB 179, sponsored by Rep. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), creates a partnership between the Cannabis Regulatory Agency and Michigan’s Indigenous tribes, allowing tribal businesses to sell marijuana without the state’s excise tax. Liberal vote is yes.
42. HB 4438, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Breen (D-Novi), includes corrections officers in arbitration for local police and fire. Liberal vote is yes.
43. HB 4341, sponsored by Rep. Ranjeev Puri (D-Canton), sets up “filter first” legislation requiring schools and childcare centers to install water filtration systems. Liberal vote is yes.
44. HB 4823, sponsored by Rep. Douglas C. Wozniak (R-Shelby Township), adds a judge to the Macomb County probate court. Liberal vote is yes.
45. HB 5074, sponsored by Rep. Will Snyder (D-Muskegon), amends the Recodified Tax Increment Financing Act to allow local development finance authorities to retroactively capture tax revenues for the state’s 20 certified technology parks, called “SmartZones.” Liberal vote is yes.
46. HB 4909, sponsored by Breen, establishes guidelines for state-appointed guardianship and conservatorship. Liberal vote is yes.
47. HB 5120, sponsored by Aiyash, expands green energy project permitting authority to the Michigan Public Service Commission in cases where companies can’t come to an agreement with local governments. Liberal vote is yes.
48. HB 4716, sponsored by Rep. Brian BeGole (R-Perry), expands the way that fees collected from salvage vehicle inspections can be used by law enforcement. Liberal vote is no.
49. HB 4949, sponsored by Pohutsky, establishes the Reproductive Health Act. Liberal vote is yes.

Past Most Liberal House Member

2003 – Rep. Mary Waters (D-Detroit)

2004 – Rep. Jack Minore (D-Flint)

2005 – Rep. Steve Tobocman (D-Detroit)

2006 – Rep. Aldo Vagnozzi (D-Farmington Hills)

2007 – Rep. Steve Lindberg (D-Marquette)

2008 – Tobocman

2009 – Rep. Coleman Young II (D-Detroit)

2010 – Rep. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor)

2011 – Rep. John Olumba (D-Detroit)

2012 – Olumba

2013 – Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton (D-Huntington Woods)

2014 – Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit)

2015 – Rep. Robert Wittenberg (D-Oak Park)

2016 – Irwin

2017 – Wittenberg

2018 – Rep. Tom Cochran (D-Mason)

2019 – Rep. LaTanya Garrett (D-Detroit)

2020 – Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor)

2021 – Rep. Regina Weiss (D-Oak Park)

2022 – Rep. Lori Stone (D-Warren)

2023 – Aiyash

Past Most Conservative House Member

2003 – Rep. Jack Hoogendyk (R-Kalamazoo), Rep. Fulton Sheen (R-Plainwell)

2004 – Rep. Ken Bradstreet (R-Gaylord)

2005 – Rep. Bob Gosselin (R-Troy)

2006 – Gosselin

2007 – Rep. Brian Palmer (R-Romeo)

2008 – Rep. John Garfield (R-Rochester)

2009 – Rep. Dave Agema (R-Grandville)

2010 – Rep. Tom McMillin (R-Rochester)

2011 – Agema

2012 – Agema

2013 – Rep. Bob Genetski (R-Saugatuck)

2014 – Genetski

2015 – Rep. Tom Hooker (R-Byron Center)

2016 – Hooker

2017 – Rep. Shane Hernandez (R-Port Huron)

2018 – Rep. Lana Theis (R-Brighton)

2019 – Rep. Steve Johnson (R-Wayland Twp.)

2020 – Rep. Matt Maddock (R-Milford)

2021 – Johnson

2022 – Rep. Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers)

2023 – Schriver


Article courtesy MIRS News for SBAM’s Lansing Watchdog newsletter

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