Michigan is a blue state now

In 2023, Democrats will control every aspect of state government

Michigan is a blue state now. Not only did Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson hold their posts in Tuesday’s election, but Democrats gained control of Michigan’s House and Senate. Along with a liberal majority on the state Supreme Court, this means Michigan has entered an era of one-party rule.

For all the pillow fighting in the press between Whitmer and the Republicans who used to run the Legislature, they worked together well. Whitmer has signed 975 laws into effect as governor, in just under four years. It will be interesting to see how that compares to the number in 2026. Will Whitmer sign more laws with fellow Democrats in power, or less?

It’s tough to imagine that Michigan will spend any less money, with Democrats running Lansing. The Michigan budget for 2023 is about $77 billion. How much higher will it go? Could Michigan see its first $100 billion budget?

With no Republicans in power for oversight purposes, Michigan’s administrative agencies will go unchecked. Expect more regulations. Expect prevailing wage rules. Expect the state’s tentacles to extend themselves deeper into people’s life and business, including how homeowners use the water on their own land. Sprinkler installation reform will probably pass.

Expect colder winters and more expensive energy, especially if Whitmer revives her attacks on Line 5. Expect more and bigger taxpayer subsidies for unproven green& energy projects. Expect the state to speed the transition to green energy, whether or not solar panels and wind turbines are up for the job.

Expect more diversity, inclusion and equity training on school time, using taxpayer money.

In 2023, Michigan will remember the value of checks and balances in government. The problem is, we will learn the hard way.

James David Dickson is managing editor of Michigan Capitol Confidential. Email him at

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.