Kurt Heise is the State Representative for the 20th House District, comprising the City of Northville, Northville Township, the City of Plymouth, Plymouth Township, and eastern Canton.
Born in 1966 in Dearborn, Heise and his wife, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Catherine Heise, reside in Plymouth Township with their children Kate and Claire. Kate attends Eastern Michigan University, while Claire is a high school student in Plymouth-Canton Public Schools.
Active in his community, Heise is a Trustee on the Plymouth-Canton Schools’ Educational Excellence Foundation, and is a member of the Plymouth Rotary Club, Plymouth and Northville Chambers of Commerce, and other civic organizations.
Now in his third term, Heise again serves as Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee. He also serves on the House Judiciary, Elections & Ethics, and Local Government committees.
Heise graduated from the Dearborn Public Schools in 1984 and the University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science in 1988. He then earned a Juris Doctorate and a Masters of Law in Labor Law from Wayne State University Law School in 1991 and 1993. He was admitted to the Michigan Bar in 1991 and is licensed to practice in the Federal District Court in Detroit and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Heise has nearly 25 years’ experience as a municipal, labor, and environmental attorney in Southeast Michigan. He began his career as the Assistant City Attorney in Dearborn Heights and Woodhaven, then as the Mayoral Deputy in Dearborn Heights. Heise spent nine years in Dearborn Heights, where he handled all elements of municipal government, environmental law, ordinance drafting, contract negotiation, labor relations, and intergovernmental relations.
From 2003 to 2009, Heise served as Director of the Wayne County Department of Environment. He played a key role in the development of the State Watershed Alliance Act, was a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission for Lake St. Clair, and was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve as co-chair of the Michigan Groundwater Conservation Advisory Council. Heise represented Wayne County on all matters impacting the Detroit Water & Sewer Department and the Rouge River Watershed before the Federal Court, EPA, and MDEQ.
Heise is an Adjunct Professor at Eastern Michigan University and Wayne State University, where he teaches a course entitled “Environmental Politics & Policy of Southeast Michigan.” He is also on Wayne State’s School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Advisory Board.
Since his election in 2010, Heise has written more than twenty-two laws, and has served as Chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee and Vice-Chair of the House Judiciary Committee. He also was Co-Chair of the Michigan Human Trafficking Commission with Attorney General Bill Schuette in 2013, which led to the creation of new laws to protect victims and punish offenders of this crime that targets young women and other vulnerable adults.
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