|Preceded by Michael C. Murphy|
Name Joan Bauer
Succeeded by Andy Schor
Role Michigan politician
|Political party Democratic Party|
Spouse Doug Langham
Party Michigan Democratic Party
|Education Western Michigan University|
Residence Lansing, Michigan, United States
Joan Bauer is a Democratic Party politician from Michigan. She was a member of the Michigan House of Representatives from the 68th District, which is in Ingham County in the northern portion of the city of Lansing.
Representative Bauer graduated from Western Michigan University with a major in history and minors in political science and secondary education. Bauer was a high school and adult education government teacher and she served as the Director of Volunteer Services at Ingham Regional Medical Center for 21 years. Bauer chaired the Ingham County Women's Commission and serving as President of the Michigan Women in Municipal Government from 2004 to 2005.
Representative Bauer has been an active community leader for numerous organizations over the past 30 years. She currently is a member of the Lansing Rotary Foundation Board, the Lansing Rotary Club, the Junior League of Lansing, the Capital Regional Community Foundation Board of Directors, and the Capital Area United Way Board of Directors. Joan has received several awards for her community service including the Athena Award from the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Diana Award from the YWCA, and the Distinguished Citizen award from the Girl Scouts.
Representative Bauer was a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee. She also served on three subcommittees in the House. She was the chair of the Higher Education Subcommittee, vice-chair of the Community Colleges Subcommittee, and a member of the Economic Development Subcommittee. She was appointed by House Speaker Andy Dillon to serve on the Capitol Committee.
In 1995, Bauer was elected as a member at-large to the Lansing City Council, and re-elected in 1999, and 2003, where she served until 2006, when she resigned to run for the Michigan State House of Representatives. Bauer defeated first runner-up Jerry Hollister, the son of former Lansing Mayor David Hollister by nearly six percentage points in the Democratic primary, garnering 32.83% of the vote. Bauer coasted to victory in the general election by receiving 74% of the vote, defeating Republican businessman Harilaos I. Sorovigas.
In her years serving the people of Michigan in the House of Representatives, Joan has introduced and co-sponsored a number of important bills. Perhaps one of the best known of these is HB 4341, which boasts 33 co-sponsors and would disallow all businesses and restaurants in Michigan from permitting smoking in their establishments. This bill, which provides no exemptions for certain businesses, has been referred to the House Regulatory Reform Committee; due to her efforts and coalition-building, Joan's colleague, Representative Lee Gonzales, was able to successfully introduce a similar bill on February 19, 2009 which was identical except that it allowed exemptions for Detroit casinos, existing cigar bars, tobacco specialty retail stores, work vehicles and home offices. Joan was a co-sponsor for this bill, and after months of complex negotiations, was able to see it passed with a bipartisan 73-31 majority. Free from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, Michigan is now the 38th smoke-free state in the nation.
Representative Bauer is also known to be a strong advocate for women's rights in Michigan. HB 4851, introduced in the House in 2009, would prohibit employers from paying a person less than an amount understood to be of "comparable worth," making doing so a civil rights law violation.
Joan Bauer serves as chair of the Capital Caucus, co-chair of the Michigan Legislative Women's Caucus, and co-chair of the Local Government Caucus. As a testament to her skills as a legislator and a leader, all of these caucuses are bipartisan as well as bicameral. She is also a member of several other caucuses, including the Urban Caucus, the Children's Caucus, the Tourism Caucus, the Arts Caucus, and the Fire Caucus.
Joan Bauer is married to Doug Langham, the former Administrator of Vocational Rehabilitation in the Bureau of Workers Compensation in Michigan, and they live on Lansing's Westside.