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SBAM’s Election Recap

November 13, 2022

By Brian Calley, SBAM President & CEO

Gongwer News Service researched the question: How many years over Michigan’s 185 year history have Democrats controlled the House, Senate and Governor’s office at the same time? The answer is six. That’s what makes last week’s election truly historic. Additionally, Justices nominated by the Democratic Party also maintained their one seat majority in the Supreme Court.

A complete sweep of three branches of government was a surprise to most observers. The margin of the Governor’s win at the top of the ticket both bolstered down-ticket Democratic candidates and shielded them from the unpopularity of the President. Her margin of victory over Tudor Dixon was around 10.5% and her win margins in key swing counties such as Kent, Oakland and Macomb exceeded those of her original 2018 win.

But the majority margins of the legislature are slim. In the House of Representatives, Democrats have a 56-54 edge. In the Senate, the margin is 20-18. There is no margin for error in the partisan makeup. We see that as positive, that in spite of one party control, bipartisanship will be required to make most things happen. That’s our wheelhouse.

SBAM is pro-small business and we are strategically bipartisan. We have strong relationships on both sides of the aisle. For example, the new Speaker of the House, Joe Tate (a Democrat from Detroit) and the new Senate Minority Leader Aric Nesbitt (a Republican from Southwest Michigan) were both SBAM Legislators of the Year in recent legislative terms. Those relationships are more important than ever because big changes can happen faster and more deeply during times of one-party control.

This next legislative term will produce some major challenges given some of the early priorities laid out by members of the new majority party – issues like increased mandated employee benefits and other labor law changes, for example. SBAM will work shoulder to shoulder with small business owners in describing the negative ramifications of increasing costs to small businesses. But we also see some opportunity to be on offense, working with the new majority party for infrastructure investments, education, and workforce development.  

These are big changes, but one thing that does not change is SBAM’s commitment to represent small businesses. We will continue to maintain a strong, respectful presence in the system and operate with confidence that the strength of the small business is compelling no matter who is in charge.

Watch SBAM’s recent Small Business Briefing for a more in-depth discussion.

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