MichMash: Lawmakers Have Left Lansing, Are Headed for Your Front Door This Summer

Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth talk about what the summer campaign season means for lawmaking in Michigan.

Michigan state capitol building

Michigan State Capitol building in Lansing, MI in January, 2018.

WDET Digital

Campaign season is in full swing in Michigan as candidates gear up for the August primaries.

As part of a new weekly series called MichMash, Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth talk about whether state lawmakers will get anything done during the summer campaign season.

First thing’s first — if and when you see your local lawmakers wandering around your neighborhood knocking on doors, they might take exception to the suggestion that they’re on “summer break.”

“In-district work period,” state Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof says, correcting reporters. “I’m going to get you guys trained on that before you leave,” he says with a chuckle.

“No you won’t,” one reporter responds (you’re in good company if you continue to use the “break” terminology).

Roth explains that an “in-district work period” *cough*SummerBreak*cough* is a time, usually around the holidays or over the summer, in which lawmakers stop their normal three-day-a-week session schedule in Lansing and go back to their home districts. It’s a time for them to work on constituent relations and re-connect with the issues that are most pressing in their home communities.

But this summer, we’re also in an election year. The August primaries are creeping up quickly. That means lawmakers will also be knocking doors and trying to get their message out as much as possible before voters head to the polls. 

Neher and Roth say this is an opportunity for you, as a constituent and as a voter, to hold lawmakers accountable and have your voice heard on important issues.

Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.


  • Cheyna Roth
    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.
  • Jake Neher
    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.