Detroit Regional Chamber > Detroiter Magazine > Lawmakers to Watch in 2023

Lawmakers to Watch in 2023

April 4, 2023 Paul Vachon

Paul Vachon | Freelance Writer

The 2022 election was perhaps the most consequential for Michigan in a generation. As the new legislative session begins, Democrats have narrow majorities in both chambers of the legislature and sit in the Governor’s office – the first time they have held all of these key leadership positions in decades.

The coming years will see state government grappling with the challenges of the post COVID world while adjusting to the new power dynamics in the House and Senate. With a bevy of both new and seasoned legislators taking up their new posts here are some key lawmakers to watch this legislative session.



Sen. Sarah Anthony

Sen. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing)

A native to the Lansing area, Sen. Anthony represents her hometown in the Senate’s 21st District which covers Ingham and Eaton counties. She graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s in political science and legal studies, followed by a master’s in public administration from Western Michigan University. In 2018 Sen. Anthony began the first of two terms in the House of Representatives, where she was the first Black woman to represent the Lansing area. As Chair of the House Democratic Caucus Sen. Anthony worked successfully across the aisle to pass several pieces of legislation, including a bill to streamline operations of local tourism and convention bureaus. She is now Chair of the all-important Appropriations Committee, where her priorities include supporting education and lowering the cost of healthcare.

Sen. John Damoose

Sen. John Damoose (R-Harbor Springs)

Sen. Damoose is a newcomer to the Senate, representing the 37th District in the Harbor Springs area. A political science graduate from the University of Michigan, he has also worked as a TV producer and author, having written several books. In his previous position in the House, then Rep. Damoose was a strong advocate for the northern Lower Peninsula—pushing for continued airline service and enhanced security for the area’s airports. He also worked on a bipartisan bill that removed sales and use taxes on new automobile rebates. In his new role, Sen. Damoose will serve as Minority Vice Chair of Education Committee.

Rep. Jason Hoskins

Rep. Jason Hoskins (D-Southfield)

A new face in the House, Rep. Hoskins brings a wealth of experience to his new position. After graduating from Eastern Michigan University and of the University of Detroit Mercy Law School, Hoskins served as president of the school’s ACLU chapter. Before his election to the legislature he served on the Southfield City Council, where as a member of the Economic Development Committee he was instrumental in planning the “downtown space” along Evergreen Road. Rep. Hoskins believes the small business community acted correctly in closing down during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is interested in helping businesses come back.

Sen. Jeremy Moss

Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield)

Now embarking on his second term in the Senate, Sen. Moss represents the 7th District, which includes several communities in south central Oakland County, plus a small portion of northwest Detroit. He is the newly elected Senate President Pro Tempore and occupies seats on the Local Government, Economic and Community Development, and Senate Government Operations committees. He is also Majority Vice Chair of the Senate Finance, Insurance and Consumer Protection Committee. He holds a degree from Michigan State University with duel majors in journalism and political science. Sen. Moss prides himself on being able to work across the aisle by pushing legislation to rebuild Michigan’s infrastructure and to reduce the tax burden paid by homeowners.

Rep. Mike Mueller

Rep. Mike Mueller (R-Linden)

Beginning his third term in the House, Rep. Mueller represents the 72nd
District, which includes southern Genesee County and northwestern Oakland County. A retired sheriff’s deputy, Rep. Muller was named Legislator of the Year in February 2022 by the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police. He was recognized for his support of a public safety funding bill which enhanced the resources available to law enforcement in the wake of the November 2021 Oxford High School shooting. In the new legislature, Rep. Mueller serves as the Minority Vice Chair of the House Regulatory Reform Committee. He also serves as a member on the Criminal Justice, Health Policy, and Labor committees.

Rep. Laurie Pohutsky

Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia)

Returning to the House for her third term, Rep. Pohutsky represents the 17th House District, which includes portions of Redford Township, Northwest Detroit, and Northeast Livonia. Her degree from Michigan State University in microbiology led to positions related to health care, food safety, and toxicology. In the new legislature, Rep. Pohutsky will serve as Speaker Pro Tempore and chair the House Natural Resources, Environment, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Committee. Reflecting her strong interest in the welfare of seniors, she has worked to expand the Michigan Choice Waiver Program, under which needy seniors can receive in home care as opposed to residing in a nursing care facility, resulting in significant Medicaid cost savings.

Rep. Helena Scott

Rep. Helena Scott (D-Detroit)

Rep. Scott is a graduate of Samuel Mumford High School and Marygrove College, from which she holds a degree in psychology and political science. Now beginning her second term in the legislature, Rep. Scott embraces a comprehensive platform of strengthening pre K-12 education, improving public safety, and fostering economic growth. She believes creating an environment where business can thrive through the strategic use of grants, funding for first time business owners, and offering incentives to attract new investment to Michigan while also advocating for community benefits agreements.

Rep. Curtis VanderWall

Rep. Curtis VanderWall (R-Ludington)

Newly reelected to the House after serving one term in the Senate, Rep. VanderWall brings considerable expertise to his new position representing the 102nd District, which includes several counties along the Lake Michigan coast from just north of Muskegon to Manistee. Prior to entering state politics, Rep. VanderWall served as Chairman of the Mason County Board of Commissioners, and the Western Michigan Fair Association. In the new legislature, he holds the post of Vice Chair in the House Committees on Health Policy and Higher Education, as well positions on the Agriculture Committee. Rep. VanderWall believes strongly in investing in the future, advocating for universal broadband access, and making critically needed infrastructure investments.

Sen. Michael Webber

Sen. Michael Webber (R-Rochester Hills)

Marking his return to the state legislature in 2022, Sen. Webber brings valuable experience gained from representing the 45th District in the Michigan House from 2015 to 2020 and from his previous service on the Rochester Hills City Council. In his new position, he represents the 9th Senate District, which includes portions of Oakland and Macomb counties. An alumnus of Michigan State University, Sen. Webber’s professional background is in the insurance industry. He believes strongly in reducing the tax burden to encourage investment and economic opportunity. Sen. Webber also believes in supporting police and first-responders and fostering greater transparency in government at all levels. Currently, Sen. Webber serves on the Senate Economic and Community Development, Regulatory Affairs, and Health Policy committees.