State Senate - 8Th District - Democrat
MARSHALL BULLOCK II
Marshall Bullock II is currently a state Senator finishing his first term in office. He lives in the University District of Detroit and has a bachelor’s degree from University of Phoenix. Bullock also served as a district manager for the city of Detroit, and the in the Duggan administration.
Legislative bans on education topics
In 24 states legislation has been introduced to restrict or outright ban the teaching and/or discussion of certain topics such as race, racism, gender-based issues and how American history is taught in the K-12 public school system. Critics of these efforts to restrict what is taught in public schools say such legislation prevents open inquiry into important issues. Should the state legislature in Michigan dictate or restrict what is taught in public school classrooms? Would you support such legislation? Why or why not? Please be specific in your answer.
Absolutely not. The current wave of censorship in schools to mandate away the uncomfortable truth and facts of history is in direct conflict with the purpose of education. I believe that the legislature should encourage freedom of expression. Schools are a place where there should be open discussion on a diverse array of issues and topics, so that students can differentiate between the various ideologies and perspectives in a safe space that allows them to develop a healthy respect for differing opinions. I do not and will not support legislation to restrict what is taught in the public schools of Michigan.
Michigan continues to rank near the bottom in comparison with other states when it comes to codified ethics and transparency rules for state lawmakers. The Michigan House, during several recent sessions, has approved bills to force disclosure of personal financial information of House and Senate members, along with members of the administration, and in some cases members of the state Supreme Court and university boards, although the Senate has not advanced such bills. Would you support financial disclosure legislation and, if so, are the current bills approved by the House sufficient? Should the disclosed information be publicly available?
At face value, the legislation proffered in the House has merit, but I would have to study the bills further to properly determine my position. My support would be based on the rationale afforded in the legislation. Although elected members of government are public figures, they should be afforded privacy in certain areas.
Term limits for legislators/administration
Do you think the current term limits for House and Senate members are in need of review? Do you support the proposal for term limits that could be on the November ballot which would allow an elected House or Senate member to serve longer terms in either the House or Senate? Why or why not?
Yes. To be effective and impactful, it is important for legislators to have institutional knowledge that is gained over time. It is my belief that the current legislation on term limits should be revisited to determine its effectiveness. Placing elected officials in a perpetual campaign cycle often carries with it the detrimental effect of disrupting the flow of key discussions and legislation. Longer term limits may be the answer, however, I recommend that we review the data to determine the most effective course of action.
State budget surplus
The state of Michigan has been running a general fund and school aid fund surplus for two years and is expected to carry over a surplus of $7 billion moving into the budget for fiscal year 2022-2023, which must be adopted by October 1. The surplus has been driven by growing tax revenues and a decline in student population, which reduces spending in that area by about $300 million annually. The budget surplus does not include nearly $15 billion in federal pandemic funding that will be spent over the next several years. A variety of proposals from the administration and the Republican-controlled Senate have been put forth, including tax cuts for both business and individuals. What are your ideas for using the budget surplus for the coming fiscal year’s budget? Be specific.
I would like to see revenue sharing for municipalities increased as well as economic relief plans for Michigan families. As we are seeing costs increase, we also see that there is no concomitant wage increase. Legislation should be introduced to provide some funding which would give tax relief – especially to mid to lower income working families.
Highland Park water/sewer debt
Highland Park, a member of the Great Lakes Water Authority, since 2012 has failed to pay for what now amounts to over $54 million in water and sewer debt, which means member communities in Oakland County will be placed in a position to underwrite this debt whether through increased rates for water and sewer or tapping budget reserves to accomplish the same. The state of Michigan has failed to deal with this issue. What do you think should be the solution to this growing problem of a GLWA member community failing to pay for water and sewer services? Please be specific.
There has to be a role for the state of Michigan to step in and provide, whether that’s arbitration or some financial assistance to alleviate this matter, which further erodes the public interest and confidence in our ability to oversee matters of importance.
Voting law changes
Voters approved no-reason absentee voting and a number of other changes by a wide margin in 2018. There have been several attempts since 2020 to make changes to the election laws, but critics have charged that some of the changes would negatively impact some voters. Do you think further changes to the election laws are needed and if so, what specifically would those changes be? If you do, why do you think so? How would that impact the proposal voters passed in 2018?
I do not believe further laws are needed in the area of voting. If some of the proposed legislation were to pass, it would restrict voting and have a dampening effect on the electorate. The people have spoken on this issue, and we don’t need to go backward in our voting rights.
2020 presidential election results
Do you accept the presidential election results of 2020 in Michigan? Will you accept the results of the 2022 primary and general election? Explain why or why not.
Yes, I accept the presidential election results of 2020 in Michigan, and I will accept the 2022 primary and general election results as well. I believe in the process, and I have availed myself as an active participant. To not accept the results (minus some blatant and wholly visible act of sabotage) would undermine everything I believe in as a Michigan citizen and responsible voter.
Michigan abortion ban law
In 1931, Michigan legislators adopted a law that banned abortion in the state, based on an 1846 ban that had been in effect. Now with the U.S. Supreme Court preparing to rule and likely overturn Roe v. Wade, some are concerned that the 1931 Michigan law will prevent any abortions here. Do you think the 1931 Michigan act banning abortion should be revised or eliminated to allow for abortions here if Roe v. Wade is overturned? Why or why not?
The 1931 Michigan act should be eliminated if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The state should not be in the business of legislating people’s bodies, nor should we base our argument on religious grounds. The fact is, banning any medical procedure becomes a slippery slope, depending on who wields the power, and I am not convinced that banning abortion is where we would end, given the mindset of those that choose that direction.
Right of redress
The Michigan House and Senate have in the past employed seldom used maneuvers to prevent the public from challenging laws that were enacted. Lawmakers accomplish this by attaching an expenditure provision to the legislation which then prevents citizens from petitioning to overturn the law. Citizens in Michigan are allowed referendum rights when it comes to legislation but not laws involving spending. Do you think that such legal maneuvers should be used by the legislature or do such actions diminish the rights of the public to challenge what lawmakers have adopted? What can be done to eliminate such maneuvers on the part of the legislature?
I don’t agree with these tactics. Voters must know the character and interests of those that they send to Lansing. To protect their rights those in office must seek to promote the greater good.
Why select you?
Why should voters choose you over your opponent(s) in this contest? Please be specific.
During my time in the Senate, I have learned that to be an effective legislator, you have to be able to build coalitions and work with those that don’t always share your point of view. This comes naturally to me, and I have committed all of my efforts to doing what is right for my constituents and as a result I have gotten legislation passed as well as votes from across the aisle on issues that were important to my constituency. We all have a sense of purpose and know that we owe our presence in Lansing to the electorate, but not everyone that has been elected has been effective. My constituents want an effective and vocal advocate. I have been that and I will continue to be that. That is why voters should choose me, because “I get things done.”
Mallory McMorrow is completing her first term as a state Senator. A resident of Royal Oak, she is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a degree in industrial design, and has been involved with the Royal Oak and Oakland County Democratic Clubs. Prior to her Senate career, she worked in product design and advertising for Mazda, Mattel, Gawker Media, and Hearst, among other companies.
Legislative bans on education topics
I’m horrified by recent attempts to ban books and roll back progress that has been made over decades to teach the full scope of our history. It is important that kids are taught an accurate account of our country and world’s history. Shielding them from hard truths and difficult or uncomfortable conversations sets them up for failure in the real world outside of the classroom. I oppose and would vote against any efforts to block accurate education in any subject from classroom curriculums.
I voted in support of the resolution placing financial disclosure and term limit reform on the ballot. I would support the bills currently introduced and support stronger policies around financial disclosures and transparency.
Term limits for legislators/administration
I supported the resolution placing term limit reform on the ballot in November, letting the voters decide. Michigan currently has some of the strictest legislative term limits in the nation. While well-intended to promote fresh ideas and allow more people the opportunity to run and serve, the impact of such strict term limits have removed any institutional memory from the state House and Senate by pushing out qualified officials just as they’ve gotten their feet under them. In practice, this has led to less willingness to take on long-term issues and solutions that would outlive one’s term, and has increased the power and influence of lobbyists who carry far more years of experience in Lansing than most legislators. Amending our term limits to cap total years of service at 12 years but flexibility to serve in both or one chamber will create more opportunity for long-term thinking, development of expertise, and reduce the influence of lobbyists – without completely removing term limits in the state.
State budget surplus