With a new Legislature now in place, the Detroit Regional Chamber is continuing its advocacy efforts working with bipartisan, pro-business lawmakers that are committed to getting results. Here are six state lawmakers to keep an eye on during the next year.
Rep. Gretchen DriskellD — SalineDriskell will serve the 52nd House District which includes Saline, Chelsea, Dexter, Milan and Scio Township. As the first female mayor of Saline, Driskell has served as mayor since 1998 after serving on the city council and building a successful career as a CPA. Driskell prides herself in being a collaborative problem solver with an understanding of factors that build high quality communities in Michigan.
Rep. Tim Greimel
D — PontiacHailing from Pontiac, Rep. Greimel was elected in a special election filling the vacancy left by Rep. Tim Melton last February. Being a seated member for only roughly six months, and now as Minority Leader he will likely spend the next six years as the top-ranking Democrat in the House. Greimel, a former labor and civil rights attorney, Oakland County commissioner and school board member promises to be an aggressive voice for the Democratic caucus, but has expressed a commitment to bipartisanship.
Sen. Bert Johnson
D — DetroitDuring his last session serving in the House, Johnson passed more laws than other Democratic or Republican member in the House or the Senate – earning a reputation as a problem solver. He is able to drive a statewide discussion despite serving in the ‘super-minority’ in the Senate, while achieving results for constituents. He was a lead sponsor of legislation to establish a Regional Transit Authority in Southeast Michigan, which passed out of the House and Senate due to his efforts in tandem with Republican leadership. Johnson also co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to create a Detroit Lighting Authority.
Sen. Mike Kowall
R—White LakeKowall is in his first term as state Senator for the 15th District. Prior to this role, he served in the House of Representatives, in several local capacities and owned a family business. Kowall has shown a knack for economic development policy, evident by his role as chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee. He also serves as vice chair of the Senate Transportation Committee and has been a key proponent for the establishment of a Regional Transit Authority.
Rep. Mike McCready
R—Bloomfield HillsMcCready will be serving his first term, representing the 40th House District, which includes Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township and West Bloomfield Township. A successful small-business owner, McCready brings a no-nonsense approach to Lansing focused on creating jobs in Michigan and ensuring taxpayers get measurable results from their elected officials. Serving in a key seat regionally, the Chamber looks forward to beginning a great working relationship with this lifelong Oakland County resident.
Rep. Wayne Schmidt
R—Traverse CityA non-traditional champion for progress in the Detroit region, Rep. Wayne Schmidt – a Republican from the Traverse City area, has been a rock solid proponent for infrastructure and transportation reform. An early Republican proponent of the New International Trade Crossing, he also co-sponsored legislation to create a Regional Transit Authority in Detroit, which recently passed the House and Senate. As chairman of the Commerce Committee, Rep. Schmidt authored reforms of Unemployment Insurance and Workman’s Compensation, which has kept these funds solvent and helped repay debt to the federal government.