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Bridge Michigan
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Michigan House GOP leader: Bipartisanship possible in 2024 if Dems want it

  • Michigan House are tied 54-54 until April special elections for two vacant Democratic-leaning seats 
  • House Republican Leader Matt Hall says economic development, education, housing are possible areas of agreement
  • Hall says he’d prefer committees that better reflect the partisan makeup of the chamber

The year 2024 got a lot more interesting for Matt Hall after local election results this fall revealed the Michigan House would be tied 54-54 — at least temporarily. 

Matt Hall
House Republican Leader Matt Hall, R-Richland Township represents the 42nd House District, which includes portions of Kalamazoo and Allegan counties.

Hall, a Richland Township Republican and the House Republican leader, was limited in what he could do to stop Democrats from passing their priorities in 2023 after the party won a slim majority in both the House and Senate during the 2022 election cycle. 

But until former Reps. Lori Stone of Warren and Kevin Coleman of Westland are replaced in April special elections, House Democrats will need at least some Republican support on any bill they hope to pass.

Bridge Michigan sought interviews with all four legislative leaders for interviews reflecting on what was accomplished, what fell through the cracks and what’s ahead in 2024.

Hall was unavailable for a one-on-one interview with Bridge Michigan prior to the end of the year. But he spoke with a group of reporters on the House floor before session ended in November about what he’d like to see in 2024. Part of that conversation is below, edited for length and clarity. 

Bridge: What are some of the priorities you think both parties could agree on?

Hall: There's a lot around economic development, if you look. I think that's the starting point. 

One thing I point out to Democrats is I believe that Ford is not coming (after halting work in September on the $3.5 billion BlueOval Battery Park in Marshall) … People aren't buying these electric cars. And we know the Democrats that really put all of our eggs in the electric battery basket… If (Ford halts work altogether) we can work together on clawing that money (back and making sure there's legislative oversight (Editor’s note: Michigan pledged a total of $2.2 billion in incentives to secure the project.

(We also need to be) looking at ways to move away from just writing checks to companies like Ford, but finding ways to take that money and invest in communities.

I don't agree with all this woke stuff that (Democrats are) trying to do, but we do agree on the concepts of investing in infrastructure, investing in housing. There's room for a lot of those things. 

Related Q&As:


Probably not energy policy.

Anything else? 

I want to see us invest in our roads and bridges, and I really think that’s what we need to do. We can focus on improving our education scores. …Gretchen Whitmer’s solution is, let's create a second Department of Education (the Michigan Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement and Potential.)  Having two departments of education isn’t the solution. But I think there is potential for realigning the education board, making it accountable to the governor, and looking at what else we can do to improve the performance of students. 


Strengthening communities, improving education, fixing our economic development. I think there are a lot of things we can do.

Have you talked with Gov. Whitmer about working with the Legislature? 

That's not really what we talk about. We talk about what she expects us to do. … But you know, now that we've got 54-54, maybe we'll have more conversations about working with the Legislature.

Ideally, what does shared power look like to you?

We'll see. 

(Democrats’) majority is smaller than our majority was, but the first thing (House Speaker Joe) Tate did was he added all these majority members to committee, so he started stacking the committees with more Democrats even though the majority was smaller. Well, that's why all this stuff gets stalled on the floor and why they have to do all these last-minute amendments and subs, because the committees don't reflect the body.

I think we need committees that are going to be closer in partisan makeup so that we're cranking out legislation… I think having fairer committees would make a lot of sense, because then you would get bipartisan legislation, and then we could actually pass it on the floor.

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