This year marks a new venture with WDET and Gongwer News Service, combining forces to create a new and improved MichMash. This week, MichMash host Cheyna Roth and Gongwer co-hosts, Zach Gorchow and Alethia Kasben, sat down with Michigan House Speaker Joe Tate to discuss redistricting and the legislative agenda for 2024.
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In this episode:
- Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission and the redrawing of legislative maps
- Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposal for paid leave
- The legislative 2024 agenda
The Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (MICRC) has been making arrangements to redraw several Detroit-area state House of Representatives districts, after a federal court order found them unconstitutional.
The Detroiters who sued over the maps felt that the district lines disenfranchised black candidates and voters.
Tate says that it wasn’t a perfect process leading up to the MICRC’s initial redistricting process, but added that there were some positive outcomes from the districts being drawn by an independent body.
“I’m the first Black speaker in Michigan’s history, and part of that — you could argue — was because the lines were drawn by an independent redistricting commission versus a partisan legislature,” he said. “I think that’s something that should be taken into account. Obviously the first female senate majority leader in Michigan’s history, I think that should be taken into account as well too. But I certainly don’t disagree that it was an imperfect process, but also looking at the larger context and the outcomes of that, I think that should be weighed in and factored in as well.”
An application for emergency stay in the case was filed by the commission last week in the U.S. Supreme Court. The case was docketed by the court on Thursday, taken up by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who oversees the 6th Circuit.
The Michigan Legislature returned to Lansing this week to pick up where they left off in 2023, but with a 54-54 deadlock in the state House after two Democratic representatives won their respective mayoral elections, leaving the seats vacant.
Use the media player above to hear the full audio interview, or watch the video interview below.
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