8 Republicans voted for Lansing’s $946M spending spree

4 House Republicans and 4 Senate Republicans crossed party lines to help Democrats pass spending bill

At a Tuesday press conference in Lansing, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Senate Bill 7, and its $946 million of spending, into law.

Whitmer touted the speed of the bill’s progress, which was passed and signed into law just one month into the new Legislature, which is under Democratic Party control.

“This is the earliest a Michigan governor has signed a bill into law since 1947,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer hailed the way the bill enacted “in a bipartisan fashion.”

Senate Bill 7 was supported by eight of the Michigan Legislature’s 72 Republicans. (There are 54 in the House and 18 in the Senate). All 76 of Democrats (56 in the House, 20 in the Senate) supported it.

In the House, four Republicans voted yes:

  • Cam Cavitt, Cheboygan
  • Gregory Markkanen, Hancock
  • Mike Mueller, Linden
  • Curtis VanderWall, Ludington

In the Senate, four Republicans voted yes:

  • John Damoose, Harbor Springs
  • Mark Huizenga, Walker
  • Dan Lauwers, Brockway Township
  • Ed McBroom, Vulcan

Damoose sent an an email to constituents, touting the state’s gift of $200 million to an Escanaba paper mill that is not required to create a single job, even thought the money is labeled as part of an economic development project. The company only has to retain the 1,000 job-headcount it had as of October 2022, and only for a decade.

“This is a major investment that will strengthen the local economy and keep the mill operational for generations to come,” Damoose wrote in the email. “I am proud to stand up for Upper Peninsula families and help secure funding to keep these jobs long into the future.”

Damoose went on to defend corporate welfare as a practice, as well as bipartisanship.

“I will continue to support strategic investments and policies that foster growth and secure the economy of the entire Upper Peninsula,” Damoose added. “This was a great bipartisan effort that invests in the state’s future and a real win not only for the Upper Peninsula, but for all of Michigan.”


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.