Michigan House of Representatives

Quick Contacts

Anderson House Office Building
124 North Capitol Avenue
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
House Business Office
Capitol Building
P.O. Box 30014
Lansing, MI 48909-7514
Clerk's Office
Ph: 517.373.0135
House Organizational Chart

Other Websites

Citizen's Guide

Welcome to the Michigan House of Representatives Citizen's Guide Page.
Use the links below to access more information under each heading.

About The House

The Michigan House of Representatives, together with the Michigan Senate, comprise Michigan's full-time legislature.

Image of the House Floor The House of Representatives consists of 110 Members who are elected by the qualified electors of districts having approximately 77,000 to 91,000 residents. Representatives are elected in even-numbered years to 2-year terms. Legislative districts are drawn on the basis of population figures through the federal decennial census.

The primary purpose of the Legislature is to enact new laws and amend or repeal existing laws. During their two-year tenure, Representatives will introduce, and vote on, over 4,000 bills. An estimated 600 to 800 of these will become law. Legislators and legislative committees spend many hours of work on each bill before the bill is sent to the House floor for consideration.

The presiding officer of the House is called the Speaker. The Speaker is a current member of, and is elected by, the House of Representatives. Currently, Republicans are in the majority and Representative Kevin Cotter is Speaker of the House. The Speaker Pro Tempore and Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore, are also elected by, and from, the House members. They preside when the Speaker is absent or wishes to participate in debate on the House floor.

House sessions are open to the public and are normally held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1:30 PM and on Thursdays at 12:00 PM. On occasion, the House also convenes on Mondays and Fridays. The daily proceedings of the House are published in the House Journal. In addition, the records of committee actions on all bills and resolutions are available for public inspection. The Michigan Legislature web site is an excellent resource for citizens to use regarding past and current legislation.

Representatives in the majority and minority leadership positions have offices in the Capitol building. All other Members and staff of the House of Representatives are located in the Anderson House Office Building, directly across the street from the Capitol at 124 N. Capitol Ave.

Your Legislature

Michigan's Legislature is a sovereign and independent branch of state government vested with the power to enact laws by which the actions of the government and the people are regulated and protected.

The first Michigan Legislature, consisting of 16 Senators and 50 Representatives, met in the first Capitol in Detroit, which served as our state's capital city until 1847, when it was moved permanently to Lansing. Today's Legislature consists of 148 members: 110 State Representatives and 38 Senators, sent to Lansing by the voters of their separate districts. These men and women share an important trust and responsibility as expressed by one of the fundamental provisions of the Michigan Constitution of 1963: The public health and general welfare of the people of the state are hereby declared to be matters of primary public concern. The Legislature shall pass suitable laws for the protection and promotion of the public health.

The direct link between the people and their legislators is reflected in the declaration at the head of every law, which reads: The People of the State of Michigan enact...

Meeting Times of the Michigan Legislature

The Michigan Legislature convenes in an annual session at noon on the second Wednesday in January of each year. Each session continues until the members agree to adjourn sine die (without day), subject to interim recesses. Special sessions of the Legislature may be called by the Governor but are limited to the consideration of subjects the Governor places before the Legislature.

The House sessions are normally held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1:30 PM and on Thursdays at 12:00 PM. Senate sessions normally begin at 10:00 AM on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. In addition, both chambers, on occasion, convene on Mondays and Fridays.

Number of Michigan Legislators

The Legislature is apportioned every ten years after the official total population count of each federal census so that each Representative and Senatorial district has as nearly equal population as possible. Based on the 1990 census, each of the 110 State Representative districts has approximately 85,000 residents and each Senate district has approximately 245,000 residents.

Who can be a Legislator?

Except for certain criminal convictions, any person 21 years of age or older who is a United States citizen and a registered voter in the district to be represented can be elected to either the State House or Senate. However, a legislator can hold no other public office except notary public. In addition, an amendment to the constitution adopted by the voters limits State Representatives to three terms (six years) in the House of Representatives and State Senators to two terms (eight years) in the Michigan Senate.

Where is Session held?

MI Capitol ImageThe present Capitol was formally opened on January 1, 1879. This magnificent structure, which was rededicated on November 19, 1992 has been restored to the splendor of its original condition. The Legislature consists of two chambers. The Senate Chamber is located in the south wing of the second floor and the House Chamber is in the north wing of the second floor. Both chambers are equipped with a public address system and an electronic voting system to record votes. The floors of the chambers are not open to the public during legislative sessions, but visitors are welcome to view the sessions from the third floor balconies that overlook the chambers.

Michigan Leadership

The presiding officer of the House is called the Speaker (elected from, and a member of, the House of Representatives). The Speaker Pro Tempore and Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore, who are also elected from and by House members, preside when the Speaker is absent or wishes to participate in debate. The Constitution provides that the Lieutenant Governor shall be the President of the Senate, but shall not have a vote unless the votes are equally divided. The Senate elects a President Pro Tempore, an Assistant President Pro Tempore, an Associate President Pro Tempore, and an Assistant Associate President Pro Tempore from its membership.

Bills and Public Acts

Gavel ImageThe proceedings of each day's work are published in the Journals of both chamber. In addition, the records of committee action on all bills and resolutions are available for public inspection: Committee Bill Records.

To make certain that every member has the opportunity to become acquainted with legislation, bills in the regular sessions must be printed or reproduced and in the possession of each chamber for at least five days before they can be passed. Each bill must be read three times before it can be passed. The final vote on each bill is recorded in the Journals.

All laws must be published in their original words and be made available to the public within 60 days of the adjournment of each regular session.

During a two-year session, the Legislature will introduce approximate 4,000 bills, of which 600 to 800 will become law. Proper consideration of the bills requires organization, time and hard work. Legislators and legislative committees spend many hours of work on each bill before the bill is sent to the floor of either chamber for consideration. The floor debate on a bill, seen by a visitor, is only one of the stages of the legislative process.

Petition Process

The people can force the enactment of laws, or reject some laws passed by the Legislature, through the process of petition, submitted to the electorate at the next general election or special election as set forth by the Legislature:

(1) The INITIATIVE petition, requiring 247,127* signatures of registered voters, is used to propose laws and to enact or reject laws.

(2) The REFERENDUM petition, requiring 151,356* signatures of registered voters, is used to approve or reject laws enacted by the Legislature.

(3) The CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, requiring 302,700* signatures of registered voters, is used to amend the Michigan Constitution.

*In each case, a percentage of the total vote cast for all candidates for Governor at the last preceding general election at which a Governor was elected: (1) 8%, (2) 5%, and (3) 10%.

Citizen Links

The Michigan Legislature
A free service of the Michigan Legislative Council, the Michigan House of Representatives, and the Michigan Senate. You can search current and past legislative documents, including bills, resolutions and journals.

The Michigan Manual
The Michigan Manual is published biennially by the Legislative Service Bureau. As the State's official manual, it contains fundamental reference information about Michigan -- its history, constitutional development, government organization and institutions. The contents of the book are divided into the following ten chapters: Michigan History; Michigan's Constitutions; The Legislative Branch; The Executive Branch; The Judicial Branch; Michigan's Congressional Delegation; Institutes of Higher Education; Local Government; Elections; and General Information/Statistics.

A Citizen's Guide to State Government

Published by the Michigan Legislature, the intent of the Citizen's Guide is to provide some of the specific information needed to get in touch with the right people at the right time to make your concerns heard. It can be used as a reference tool that will assist you in your efforts to be heard by public officials.

How a Bill Becomes a Law
The State of Michigan's web page that details the major steps of the legislative process that a bill must go through before it is enacted into law.

How Committees Work
Introductory overview of a committee's responsibilities when a bill or resolution is first introduced in the House of Representatives or the Senate. This page also provides guidelines to assist citizens who are preparing for testifying in front of a committee.

House Rules
Standing rules of the House of Representatives in accordance with the Michigan Constitution, Article IV, Section 16.

Joint Rules
Joint Rules govern how the House of Representatives and the Senate resolve differences in legislation and other interactions between the two chambers.

State House District Maps
Adobe PDF map of the 110 state House districts which allows you to click on a specific area of Michigan to get the individual district map of interest.

State Senate District Maps
Adobe PDF map of the 38 state Senate districts which allows you to click on a specific area of Michigan to get the individual district map of interest.

State Congressional District Maps
Adobe PDF map of the 15 state Congressional districts which allows you to click on a specific area of Michigan to get the individual district map of interest.

House Chamber Seating Chart
Adobe PDF seating chart map of where each of the 110 elected state Representatives sit in the House chamber during session.

House Session Schedule
Annual calendar of legislative session meeting dates and times for the Michigan House of Representatives. This is an Adobe PDF file.

Legislative Session Calendars
Published by the Michigan Legislature, the Legislative Calendars lists bills, resolutions and other business items to be considered by the House or Senate. The calendars are published for each session day, and items are considered in the order listed unless changes are made during a session. The calendar also contains a list of future committee meetings and public hearings. The Michigan Legislature publishes the lastest and past calendars for the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Our State Capitol
Discover the history behind the Michigan Capitol building or take a look at recent scheduled events at the Capitol and find out the visiting hours. Other feature services include information about scheduling a tour; location, parking and lunch; planning a Capitol event; and guided tour information.

State Web Sites
A listing of various Michigan legislative and departmental web sites of citizens' interests, including the: Executive Branch; Executive Branch -- Agencies, Boards & Commissions; Legislative Branch; and the Judicial Branch.

MI Kids' Page
The State of Michigan's web page created for Michigan kids of all ages. Learn about our state symbols with a multiple choice game, make a corn husk doll, see pictures of the Mackinac Bridge from a bird's eye view, learn how a bill becomes a law, take trips to state museums right from your own computer, and more!