89.1 WEMU

Former Michigan Lawmaker Curtis Hertel Remembered

Mar 28, 2016

Former Michigan House Speaker Curtis Hertel Sr. (1953-2016)
Credit Courtesy Photo / Associated Press

Former state House Speaker Curtis Hertel is being remembered today as a leader whose willingness to compromise helped lead to a historic overhaul of how Michigan pays for public schools.  He died over the weekend at the age of 63.


The Detroit Democrat served as co-speaker during the historic 1993-1994 legislative session when there was a 55-55 split between Democrats and Republicans. 

Hertel was already a seasoned negotiator who helped ensure the expected gridlock between Republicans and Democrats didn’t happen.  Instead, that session produced the widely hailed Proposal A revamping of Michigan’s system for funding schools. 

Once Democrats won control of the state House in 1996, Hertel helped push through a minimum wage hike and a gas tax increase that helped raise more money for roads.  

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

— Rick Pluta is the Managing Editor and Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org