Jan 5, 2024 - Politics

Michigan laws changing in 2024

Illustration of Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer, with lines radiating from around her.

Photo illustration: Allie Carl/Axios; Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images

Big changes and tweaks to laws took effect on Jan. 1 after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Legislature passed laws to reflect a Democratic agenda for the first time in decades.

What's happening: A number of new laws passed last year that take effect in 2024 will impact residents across the state, including everything from voting rights and discrimination protections to minimum wage, education and taxes.

  • Here's what's changing in our state:

Voting: Clerks will have a minimum drop box requirement, plus do early processing and counting of absentee ballots as the result of a constitutional amendment. They will also be required to hold nine days of early voting as soon as the Feb. 27 presidential primary.

  • Plus, a new law allows 16-year-olds to preregister as voters for when they turn 18.

Education: Lawmakers repealed the A–F letter grading system for overall academic performance of all K-12 public schools.

  • Also repealed is the 2016 law allowing schools to hold back third-graders who failed to meet reading and writing requirements.
  • And the Legislature put $50 million toward requiring each Michigan school and child care center to provide filtered water, test it and regularly replace filters.

Minimum wage: The minimum wage is $10.33 an hour as of Jan. 1, up from $10.10.

  • The hourly rate for minors is $8.78.
  • The tip credit is now $3.93.

Earned income tax credit: More than 700,000 eligible lower-income households will receive checks of around $550 from the state starting Feb. 13.

Income tax: The 4.05% individual income tax rose back to 4.25% on Jan. 1 after Democrats won the battle over a 2015 law that the Whitmer administration interpreted as being temporary.

  • It automatically dropped in 2023 because tax revenues for the general fund exceeded 1.425 times the inflation rate. The lower rate resulted in a $714 million decrease in state revenue.

LGBTQ+ protections: Democrats scored a long-awaited victory last year by expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Financial disclosure is coming for the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state lawmakers and the candidates vying for those offices.

  • The change was implemented late in the legislative session after a constitutional amendment voters passed in 2022 required greater transparency from officeholders.

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