Michigan Municipal League Honors State Rep. Ellison as Legislator of the Year

Matt Bach
Michigan Municipal League
c: (810) 874-1073; [email protected]


Michigan Municipal League Honors State Rep. Ellison as Legislator of the Year

League Statement on U.S. Senate Passing Stimulus

ANN ARBOR, Michigan – The Michigan Municipal League honored State Rep. Jim Ellison (D-Royal Oak) recently as the League’s 2021 Legislator of the Year.

Rep. Ellison received the recognition this week during the League’s 2021 virtual Capital Conference.

Capping off his third decade in public service, Rep. Ellison began his final term in the Michigan House this past January where he represents the cities of Royal Oak and Madison Heights in the 26th State House District. He was first elected to the Royal Oak City Commission in 1991 and followed that with seven consecutive terms as the city’s mayor. As a state lawmaker, Rep. Ellison was able to leverage his extensive background in municipal government to offer vital leadership in support of local governments across the state. In the 2019-20 session, Ellison served as the Minority Vice-Chair of the House Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee, his second term on that committee, and also sat on the House Tax Policy Committee during both his terms.

“Jim Ellison’s knowledge and experience have been critical on issues like municipal finance, local control, and pushing back on local preemption. In addition to being loved in his district, Rep. Ellison is also well-respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle,” said Westland Mayor and League Board President William Wild. “We could not ask for a more qualified and vocal advocate for local government than Rep. Ellison and are thankful for all he has done for his district and local governments throughout Michigan.”

During the 2019-2020 legislative term, Rep. Ellison was co-chair of the bi-partisan Legislative Municipal Caucus, a group of more than 30 House and Senate legislators who previously served in an elected or appointed capacity in their municipal government. He worked tirelessly in that capacity to support the League’s municipal finance reform efforts. The hearings he helped organize on critical issues like revenue sharing and the interactions of Headlee and Proposal A led to his introduction of House Bill 6454 in December which would have restored the opportunity for Headlee roll-ups and removed “pop-ups” from the rollback formula to allow local governments to recover more quickly from drops in property values.

In his role on the House Tax Policy Committee, Rep. Ellison has worked closely with the League in opposition to tax cut proposals that would negatively impact local government finances. He also helped develop proposals that identified opportunities for local communities to develop new revenue sources.

Beyond his work on municipal finance issues, Rep. Ellison has been a staunch advocate for allowing local governments to maintain control over their jurisdictions. He worked closely with League policy staff to develop alternative approaches to protect against Short-Term Rental Zoning Preemption, and he actively worked with the League to craft agreeable language dealing with dangerous dog breeds while also defending against other preemption efforts.

“As someone who has spent more than 20 years in local government, I have felt it to be my responsibility to offer my on-the-ground experience to my colleagues in the Legislature. I’ve always appreciated the work the League has done to educate local elected officials on important policy issues, and I have appreciated the opportunity to now work with them in my time as a legislator to craft policies that help our communities remain great places to live, work, and visit.”

Rep. Ellison received the Legislator of the Year honor alongside Rep. Jeff Yaroch (R-Richmond).

About the Legislator of the Year Award: The honor is presented each year to lawmakers for their instrumental actions in the Michigan State Legislature on behalf of local communities. These individuals are recognized for their efforts in the passage of legislation that will benefit local governments or who have fought consistently to support local government.

For additional information contact the League’s Matt Bach, assistant director of strategic communications, at (810) 874-1073 (cell) and [email protected].

Michigan Municipal League is dedicated to making Michigan’s communities better by thoughtfully innovating programs, energetically connecting ideas and people, actively serving members with resources and services, and passionately inspiring positive change for Michigan’s greatest centers of potential: its communities. The League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington, D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services. Learn more at

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