Curtis Hertel Jr. was elected in 2014 to serve Michigan’s 23rd Senate district, which encompasses most of Ingham County. Prior to his time in the State Senate, Hertel served as an Ingham County Commissioner from 2001 until 2008, the Legislative Liaison for the Department of Community Health under Governor Granholm from 2005 until 2008, and Ingham County Register of Deeds from 2009 until 2015.
Curtis Hertel Jr. has a long history of fighting for issues that matter most to Michigan’s families. At the age of 22, Hertel was elected to the Ingham County Commission where he was a champion for the County’s living wage ordinance, successfully fought to save Potter Park Zoo, led the charge for the Ingham County Health Plan which became a model around the country, and spearheaded a number of important initiatives that streamlined services for Ingham County residents. As the County’s Register of Deeds, Hertel became a champion for people that had fallen victim to predatory lending and foreclosure scams. By filing suit against our country’s most powerful banking institutions, he helped shield residents from foreclosure fraud.
After taking office in the Michigan State Senate, Hertel quickly began making a positive impact on issues affecting Michigan’s citizens. Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. has successfully ushered through a number of important pieces of legislation, including a law that paved the way to a quicker and more viable process for organ donors by creating a dedicated medical organ and tissue recovery center – saving countless lives, a law that cracked down on predatory mailings which deceived many of our residents into paying exorbitant prices for copies of public records, and legislation that removed the derogatory term “crippled children” from our state’s laws. Hertel also successfully advocated to ensure funding for several essential programs including indigent hospice care (which allowed for the Hospice House of Mid-Michigan to remain open), the expansion of Healthy Kids Dental into every county in Michigan, funding for after school programming at the YMCA, the expansion of WIC and Early On services that provide nutrition and developmental assistance for young children and their mothers, and continued funding for life-changing Alzheimer’s research.
As a leader in the fight against the epidemic of sexual assault, specifically on our college campuses, Hertel is working to change the culture by advocating for required education on affirmative consent. By consistently and informatively talking about this serious issue, and spearheading a successful social media campaign, Hertel has been able to make serious headway to include affirmative consent as part of the multifaceted approach to end the epidemic of sexual assault.
Senator Hertel has also worked to improve access and affordability to health care for those who need it most. Most notably, he led the charge in the legislature to finally allocate money to the First Responders Presumed Coverage Fund. This necessary fund provides workers’ compensation and medical coverage for 10 different types of cancer to first responders, whose careers increase the likelihood of developing the disease. The fund was created in 2015, but legislators failed to appropriate money to begin the fund. Hertel worked hand-in-hand with fire fighters and his fellow legislators to ensure our first responders receive the help they deserve.
By passing a number of important pieces of legislation and successfully advocating for key programs in the State budget, Hertel has swiftly become recognized as a leader among his colleagues.
Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. currently serves as the Minority Whip, and is the Minority Vice-Chair of the Senate Committees for Health Policy, Commerce, Regulatory Reform, Banking and Financial Institutions and Appropriations Sub-Committee for Higher Education. He also serves as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Appropriations Sub-Committee for the Department of Health and Human Services, Appropriations Sub-Committee for Capital Outlay, and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
Curtis Hertel Jr. is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison College.
Curtis Hertel Jr. lives in East Lansing, is married to Elizabeth, has 4 children; CJ, Nathan, Hailey, and Jack, and has a dog named Samson.