The Michigan state Senate on Thursday, February 19 voted 37-1 to concur with the state House amendment facilitating a March 8 presidential primary.
Just a day ago, the Michigan state House amended and passed SB 44. The bill initially sought to push the presidential primary in the Wolverine state back from the fourth Tuesday in February to the third Tuesday in March. The House changed that to the second Tuesday in March.1 That is a minor change that nonetheless still brings the Michigan primary back into compliance with the national party delegate selection rules.
The bill now heads to Governor Rick Snyder (R) for consideration. Assuming a signature is likely coming, this move would bring the Michigan primary to the same date on the 2016 presidential primary calendar as southern neighbor, Ohio. That may serve as a subregional primary and/or it may be attractive to other states in the region as well for a more all-encompassing regional primary. Alabama and Mississippi are likely to vacate March 8 in favor of the March 1 SEC primary. That leaves only the Republican caucuses in Hawaii to compete with Michigan and Ohio for attention. Idaho and Washington are also eyeing March 8 for possible primary destinations.
UPDATE (2/20/15): Governor signs bill (changes primary date to March 8, 2016)
1 The change was made to avoid a conflict with voters'/taxpayers' ability to appeal property tax assessments; something that typically takes place during the week of March 15.
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