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Senate approves Schroeder bill requiring quick announcement of special elections

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Elections Committee Chair Ruth Johnson on Wednesday supported Senate approval of the late Rep. Andrea Schroeder’s legislation to require a speedy announcement of a special election to fill a legislative vacancy.

Schroeder, R-Independence Township, died on Oct. 1, 2021, following a recurrence of stomach cancer.

“A cornerstone to our system of government is the ability of the people to have a voice through their elected representatives,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “When a legislative vacancy occurs, the people of that area deserve to know when it will be filled. Unfortunately, Rep. Schroeder understood the need for this reform after facing her first battle with cancer and she nobly sponsored this bill to ensure people would have representation.

“This bill doesn’t affect the governor’s constitutional authority to call for a special election or to order the vacancy be filled at the next regular election. It simply requires the decision to be announced in a timely fashion — to begin the process of ensuring everyone has an elected voice in their state government.”

House Bill 4996 would require the governor to announce the date to fill a vacancy in the Michigan Senate or House of Representatives within 30 days after the vacancy occurred. It does not require the election itself to happen within that 30-day window.

HB 4996 has been sent back to the House to be enrolled and sent to the governor.