Important Michigan House and Senate Committees and Subcommittees
Most of the legislation affecting chiropractors and their patients in the Michigan Legislature are assigned to the Senate and House Health Policy Committee, Insurance Committee, and/or Appropriations Committees dealing with the budget for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which governs the state’s Medicaid budget. Committees review all legislation that affects their issue area and make recommendations as to whether the full chamber should take up the bills. Committee chairs, such as state Sen. Kevin Hertel and state Rep. Julie Rogers, decide when (and if) bills are heard, run committee meetings, and organize informational hearings to help lawmakers and the public understand important issues.
It is vitally important that we continue to have good working relationships with the committee chairs and members of these important committees in both the House and Senate if we want our legislative agenda to move forward.
Note: Democrats currently hold majorities in both the House and Senate [56-54 in the House, 20-18 in the Senate], so committees are weighted to reflect these majorities.
The Senate and House Health Policy Committees
The House and Senate Health Policy Committees are responsible for deliberating on issues related to public health, health professionals, mental health and wellness, and overall access to healthcare. Legislation dealing with health care is most often (but not always) assigned to these committees. Many of the bills in our legislative agenda will be assigned to these committees.
House Health Policy Committee (12 Democrats/7 Republicans)
Meet Committee Chair Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo)
In November 2022, State Rep. Julie M. Rogers was re-elected to her second term in the Michigan House. Her district, the 41st, includes portions of the city of Kalamazoo, city of Portage, and Kalamazoo and Comstock townships. She is a practicing physical therapist and served on the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners for eight years.
Aside from her duties as chair of Health Policy, she also serves as a member of the House Committee on Insurance and Financial Services, House Committee on Military, Veterans and Homeland Security, House Appropriations Committee, and House Committee on Local Government and Municipal Finance. Rogers also chairs the Biosciences Legislative Caucus and is the co-chair of the Arts and Culture Legislative Caucus.
Rep. Rogers grew up in Kalamazoo and attended Marquette University, where she earned a master’s degree in physical therapy. Her 23-year career as a physical therapist has led her to become a champion of public health, serving on the National Association of Counties Health Steering Committee for seven years. Rogers’ experience as a physical therapist inspired her to advocate for auto no-fault reform, after seeing the devastating effects that forced catastrophic car accident survivors to lose their long-term care. She has been recognized for her work with a nomination to the Class of 2019 Women in Government, a national nonpartisan leadership program for women elected officials of all levels of government.
Rep. Rogers lives in Kalamazoo, where she enjoys participating in community runs and triathlons. Her past service includes: Girls on the Run coach, West Michigan Cancer Center Board, Hospital Hospitality House Board, Ascension Borgess Diversity Council, Bronson Hospital Patient & Family Advisory Council, Junior League of Kalamazoo member, and team leader for Adopt-A-Highway cleanup program.
The other members of the House Health Policy Committee are:
Senate Health Policy (6 Democrats/4 Republicans)
Meet Committee Chair Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores)
In November 2022, state Senator Kevin Hertel was elected to serve his first term in the Michigan Senate. He represents Michigan’s 12th Senate District which includes part of Clinton Township and all of Algonac, Chesterfield Township, Clay Township, Grosse Pointe, Grosse Pointe Farms, Grosse Pointe Park, Grosse Pointe Shores, Grosse Pointe Woods, Harper Woods, Harrison Township, Ira Township, Mount Clemens, New Baltimore, and St. Clair Shores.
He previously served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 2017-2022.
Last session, Sen. Hertel sponsored pro-chiropractic, MAC-developed bipartisan legislation that would allow chiropractors to partner with like-minded MDs/DOs to form a professional corporation together. The bill passed the Michigan Legislature by a combined 135-4 vote and was signed into law by Governor Whitmer last March. Sen. Hertel expertly shepherded the bills through the legislative process and his hard work and dedication were a major factor in their passage.
A graduate of Michigan State University, Sen. Hertel worked for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as a legislative analyst and then as a special assistant in the office of the president prior to being elected to the House. He is a proud member of his community and is part of the St. Clair Shores Waterfront Environmental Committee, a volunteer for Macomb County Special Olympics and a member of St. Isaac Jogues Parish. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Macomb County Care House.
The other members of the Senate Health Policy Committee are:
The Senate and House Insurance Committees
These committees often work hand-in-hand with the Health Policy Committees and deal with various issues related to insurance, including private health insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, and auto insurance, among other issue areas.
Senate Finance, Insurance, and Consumer Protection Committee (5 Democrats/3 Republicans)
The members of the Senate Finance, Insurance, and Consumer Protection Committee are:
House Insurance and Financial Services Committee (10 Democrats/7 Republicans)
The members of the House Insurance Committee are as follows:
The House and Senate Medicaid Appropriations Subcommittees
Appropriations committees deal with the state budget. They are broken into a number of subcommittees, each dealing with the budget for a particular area of state government. The House and Senate each have a subcommittee dealing with the Department of Health and Human Services (Medicaid) budget. These committees are instrumental in determining if chiropractic services will be covered under Medicaid, so it is critical that we have solid, working relationships with members of these committees.
Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on DHHS (7 Democrats/4 Republicans)
The members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on DHHS are:
House Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee (10 Democrats/5 Republicans)
The members of the House Appropriations Health and Human Services Subcommittee are:
Stay tuned to future issues of the eJournal, Action Report, and MAC Matters for up-to-date information on legislation affecting chiropractic taken up by these important committees.
Related: How Committees Work
When a bill or resolution is first introduced in the House of Representatives or the Senate, it is assigned to a committee that deals with its particular issue. At committee meetings, elected members delegated by the House or Senate consider and make recommendations considering dispositions of bills, resolutions, and other matters referred to them. Committees are appointed by the Speaker of the House or the Senate Majority Leader and are organized according to subject matter.
There are currently 22 House and 20 Senate “standing” committees. These committees contain from five to thirty members and are appointed for two-year periods. The Appropriations Committees are divided into subcommittees where bills with monetary implications are assigned for discussion, analysis, and revision before being presented to the full committee for action.
When a bill is referred to a standing committee, the members of that committee have a choice in the actions they may take on any bill:
- Report a bill with a favorable recommendation, or without recommendation
- Report a bill with amendments, with or without recommendation
- Report a substitute bill in place of the original bill
- Report a bill and recommend that it be referred to another committee
- Take no action on a bill (committees are not required to “report out” a bill).
Although one of the chief functions of a committee is to “screen out” undesirable bills, arbitrary refusal of a committee to report out a bill can be remedied by a motion to “discharge the committee from further consideration of the bill.”
As a rule, all standing committee meetings are open to the public. Exceptions are extremely rare. Most committee business is conducted during the meeting and most committee action requires the approval of a majority of those appointed and serving on the committee. If there are a sufficient number of affirmative votes, the bill is reported out and goes to the full chamber for a “yea” or “nay” vote.