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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.


Legislative ethics/transparency


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


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.


Legislative ethics/transparency


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


Given the pain many families are feeling right now with inflation and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, I support the governor’s proposal of leveraging some of our surplus dollars to provide immediate $500 relief to households earning $250k/year or less. However, I do not support the Republican tax cut proposals which would create long-term cuts to our state budget, cuts which we would not be able to sustain once our one-time surplus dollars run out. What we need is real tax reform that better balances our system to ensure sustainable long-term revenue while taking the bulk of the tax burden off of lower- and middle-income families, such as a graduated income tax. We need to invest in the things that will attract people to Michigan. People = talent. Smart economic development recognizes that companies will grow or move to where the talent is, not the other way around.


Highland Park water/sewer debt


The state of Michigan can and should leverage federal infrastructure dollars to both mitigate the impact of this debt and invest the critical dollars needed to upgrade our water infrastructure, and separate the combined sewer system to better manage more extreme flooding and extreme weather incidents that have become the norm instead of the exception. Additionally, the state must pass legislation to create a more streamlined process for municipalities to create stormwater utilities – legislation by Senator Rosemary Bayer that I’ve cosponsored. Currently, Oakland County communities pay millions in legal fees and settlements from a handful of law firms who take our communities to court over this issue – taxpayer dollars that are enriching these few firms but not being used to fix this growing problem.


Voting law changes


Expanding access to the ballot box is critical, and these changes were supported by a wide majority of voters in 2018. However, our clerks – both Republican and Democratic – have consistently asked the legislature to pass supporting legislation and funding to sufficiently adapt to these changes, including more time to process and count absentee ballots and requiring training for poll challengers. As with most issues, my role as a legislator is to rely on and support those who are experts in our field, and I’ve consistently advocated for the legislature to do more to support the changes our clerks and election officials are requesting to ensure our elections are efficient, secure, and that voters trust that their vote is counted securely.


2020 presidential election results


Yes. Free and fair elections are the bedrock of our communities, state, and system of democracy. I’ve built close relationships with our clerks and election officials and know that Michigan leads the nation in election security. Sometimes our preferred candidates win. Sometimes our preferred candidates lose. It’s incumbent on all of us to trust the voters to decide what’s next, to accept the results of each election, and to operate from a place of truth.


Michigan abortion ban law


The fall of Roe and the retreat to Michigan’s 1931 will be devastating to women, girls, and all people who need to access reproductive care in Michigan – reaching as far as families seeking IVF treatment, stripping women of the ability to participate fully in our economy by determining if and when to get pregnant, and – because the 1931 states that abortion is a felony – sending doctors, women, and family members to jail. Beyond supporting the Planned Parenthood/ACLU/ Michigan voices ballot initiative which would amend our state constitution to enshrine abortion access and reproductive rights, I’m the co-sponsor of legislation to repeal the 1931 and the primary bill sponsor on the Reproductive Healthcare Act in the Senate, which would effectively codify Roe and access to abortion in statute.


Right of redress


I’ve consistently supported efforts to strengthen and protect the citizens petition initiative process, such as allowing voters to request their name be removed from a petition should they feel misled, and preventing signature collectors from lying about what an initiative does. It violates the Michigan Constitution to include policy restrictions within appropriations bills and I support efforts to challenge those efforts when they arise.


Why select you?


In this moment, with so much under attack – from reproductive rights to discrimination against the LGBTQ community, to racial justice and the accurate teaching of our history, to the critical threat of climate change and voting rights – you deserve someone in Lansing who will fight for you every single day. Through it all, we’ve never lost sight of our people. We’ve held dozens of town halls and events, hosted a near-weekly Livestream with direct access to experts, helped over 1,000 people access their unemployment benefits, and supported policies to help all of our residents and small business owners navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve brought millions of dollars back to our district to support parks, pedestrian safety, infrastructure projects, removal of lead water service lines, and so much more. I’ve got a strong track record of fighting every day for my constituents – and against outright lies, hatred, and fearmongering – and would be honored to do so again over the next four years.

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