2016 Election Recap

The 2016 elections have come and gone, but the dust certainly has not settled. The presidential election was one of the wildest elections in history, and what happens next is certainly an unknown. As President-Elect Donald Trump gave his acceptance speech, one of his first statements was that he was going to rebuild America’s roads and bridges. His infrastructure plan recommends investing over $1 trillion across the nation. The details of his plan are somewhat vague, and he still needs to convince Congress to approve his recommendations, but it’s a good start.

Further down the ticket, every Michigan House of Representatives seat was up for grabs and, going into Tuesday, many believed that the House Democrats would gain a few seats and close the gap between them and the majority party. As the polls closed and the votes were calculated, the House Republicans retained the same majority (63 to 47) that they had last session. One Democratic incumbent lost his re-election bid, and one open seat the Republicans had previously held flipped and was won by a Democrat. It is obvious that Donald Trump had a larger impact on those running further down the ticket than most had thought he would.

Two days after the elections, the House of Representatives elected their leadership for each caucus. The Republicans, who hold a majority, elected Representative Tom Leonard to be the next Speaker of the House for the 2017 – 2018 legislative session. In addition, the Republican caucus also elected Representative Dan Lauwers as their Floor Leader. Both the incoming Speaker and Floor Leader voted in favor of the final road funding package last session, and the MITA team has worked closely with both officials.

The House Democrats also elected their leadership team shortly after the elections. Minority Leader Tim Greimel decided to step down and not seek another term as Democratic leader of the house. That opened the door for Representative Sam Singh to become the next minority leader by a vote of his caucus members. The minority floor leader position was given to Representative Christine Greig.

On the infrastructure side, several counties, municipalities, townships and villages had road and bridge millages on their ballots, and the vast majority of them passed. Local infrastructure investment proposals have seen a 74% success rate over the past 10 years nationwide. That trend has been similar in Michigan over that time frame, as well, helping communities add to revenues that they receive from the state to fill potential gaps that may exist. All in all, there were 52 local ballot initiatives up for a vote on Election Day. 40 initiatives passed, eight failed and four were still pending at the time this bulletin was written.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact MITA Executive Vice President Mike Nystrom at mikenystrom@mi-ita.com or MITA Vice President of Government Affairs Lance Binoniemi at lancebinoniemi@mi-ita.com.