News Story

Michigan House passes right-to-work repeal in party-line vote

Repeal bills still need to pass the Michigan Senate and be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to become law

By a 56-53 vote, with one Republican absent, the Michigan House on Wednesday approved both House Bill 4004 and House Bill 4005, which would repeal the state right-to-work law.

House Bill 4004 would repeal right-to-work protections for public sector workers such as teachers. That bill is expected to face constitutional challenges if signed into law, given that it violates the protections for public sector workers recognized by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME.

Read it for yourself: House Bill 4004 of 2023

House Bill 4005 of 2023

House Bill 4005 would repeal right-to-work protections in the public sector.

“People should not be forced to join a union,” said Matt Hall, R-Marshall, Republican in the House, during the brief debate Wednesday night. “If a union is providing value, people will join.”

After both bills passed, Rep. Abraham Aiyash, D-Hamtramck, the Democratic floor leader, pushed for immediate effect, and it was granted.

In the Michigan House, immediate effect is determined by voice vote, not a roll call.

In the Senate, immediate effect is still determined by roll-call vote. In the recent passage of House Bill 4001 — now Public Act 4 of 2023 — failure to secure immediate effect in the Senate is why Michigan residents got a tax cut rather than one-time checks for $180.

To pass into law, House Bill 4004 and 4005 would need to be passed by the Michigan Senate. Then, any differences between the House and Senate bills would need to be ironed out in conference committee. After conference committee, the bills would need to pass both houses again, in identical form.

If they do, they head off to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk to be signed into law.

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.