The state lawmakers who represented southwest Michigan in Lansing during the most recent legislative session get gold stars for attendance. According to the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s annual report on missed votes by lawmakers, former state Senator John Proos, former state Representatives Kim LaSata and Dave Pagel, and state Representative Beth Griffin missed zero votes in 2018. Former state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker missed 24 out of more than 1,600 roll calls taken in the Senate. The Mackinac Center’s Jack McHugh tells WSJM News the organization started tracking missed votes in 2003.
“Every year, you had maybe a couple dozen lawmakers who were missing lots of votes,” McHugh said. “That stopped almost immediately when we started publishing this list as kind of a year end feature.”
There were a total of 1,671 missed votes in Lansing in 2018, up from 1,153 in 2017. However, the 599 missed votes by state Representative Bettie Cook-Scott of Detroit alone made a big difference. McHugh says Scott stopped showing up for work after she lost a state Senate primary. McHugh tells us, usually, when a state lawmaker misses a vote, they have a good reason. He also notes that missing just one day of work as a lawmaker could mean missing dozens of votes. He says, for the most part, Michigan lawmakers take their jobs very seriously. You can see the Mackinac Center report right here.