Midland, Mich. (WLNS):
A new missed votes report shows Michigan’s state senators and representatives set a record in 2019 by missing a combined 768 roll call votes.
The report was put together by Jack McHugh, who accounted for all 38 senators and 110 state representatives missed votes.
Compared to previous years, the number of missed votes has been declining. In 2018, legislators missed a combined total of 1,671 votes, during a year when there were far more roll call votes held: 2,088 votes.
That’s down 923 missed votes since 2018.
This year, just one state senator and three House members missed more than 50 votes in 2019, compared to nine senators and three representatives who exceeded that level in 2018.
Sen. Adam Hollier D-Detroit, also an Army Reserve officer, missed 51 votes reportedly due to military duty. Detroit Democrat Sen. Stefanie Chang had the second highest missed votes total in the Senate, all of which occurred in the weeks after she had a baby in June.
Rep. Larry Inman, R-Traverse City, missed the most votes. He missed 124 votes as he was being indicted, prosecuted, tried and ultimately cleared in federal court of bribery charges brought by the FBI. He was followed on the list by Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint, who missed 74 votes while running for mayor of the city he represents.
The number of missed votes has fallen dramatically since the 2001-2002 Legislature, which was the first session covered by MichiganVotes.org. Over that two-year period, individual Michigan lawmakers did not cast a roll call vote 21,162 times.
“Legislators are people too,” McHugh said. “Voters shouldn’t jump to conclusions when their representative or senator misses a lot of votes. They should ask, and in the majority of cases the lawmaker has a good reason and is eager to explain.”
The full Missed Votes report can be viewed at www.michiganvotes.org/MissedVotes.aspx