In 2018, Senator Sarah Anthony was sworn into the Michigan House of Representatives, becoming the first Black woman to serve in Lansing’s 68th district. Five years after her historic appointment, the former Ingham County Commissioner is now leading the Senate Appropriations Committee. She’s the first Black woman to do so.
According to MLive, the Appropriations team is one of the largest Senate committees. Anthony plays a big role in budgeting and balancing the state’s spending in the upper chamber. “This was never, never on the bingo card ever,” the Democrat told the publication about her historic role, which she entered at the top of 2023. “This is all a bonus.”
Equity and opportunity have always been at the top of Anthony’s priority list. Throughout her 20-year career in public service, the Democrat has scored multiple victories for residents living in the Great Lake state. As Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, she earned a reputation as a pragmatic, effective legislator. The All-Star politician passed multiple bills into law with substantial bipartisan support that aimed to expand healthcare and reform Michigan’s criminal justice system.
She has also fought to strengthen education and college affordability under her role with the Senate Appropriations Committee.
In June, the Senator introduced two bills SB 406 and SB 407, to expand Michigan’s Reconnect Program. If passed, the historic effort will help 4.1 million Michiganders who are 25 and older, with no college degree, earn a “tuition-free associate degree or skills certificate,” Anthony’s website notes. The Michigan native is in the process of expanding the eligibility from 25 to 21 years of age.
Before serving in the capitol, Anthony was the youngest Black woman to hold a seat on the County Commission board in the U.S. During her tenure, she served as Chair and Vice Chair of the board. She was a fearless leader for healthcare access, social justice and services for senior citizens.
The dedicated Senator showed grit and determination when she passed a historic $82 billion budget plan in June, that will allocate money to education, environmental protection, and social services among other needs for residents of Lansing. The Democrat said that some of her constituents were “shaken up” by the historic feat, but Anthony is ready to fight for the people of Michigan through thick and thin.
“I’ve always wanted to take the job really seriously… being the ‘first only’ thing and just by nature. This being my first budget, I wanted to be more of a technician, than a politician because I don’t want to just repeat talking points. So, I am actually exhausted…But you know, I think that’s what it takes,” the star added.
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