Lawmakers begin new legislative session
Michigan lawmakers return to the state Capitol today for the first day of the 2011-2012 legislative session. Lawmakers will be sworn-in and adopt rules, including a dress code.
As the Associated Press reports, the majority of lawmakers in both the Senate and the House will be new to their jobs:
The turnover is caused partly by the state's term limits law and a strong showing by Republicans in last year's elections. Republicans built on their advantage in the Senate and grabbed control of House from Democrats.
Lawmakers will begin the new session with a new Republican Governor and a projected $1.8 billion dollar budget deficit for the fiscal year that begins October 1st.
Both the Senate and House will also see new legislative leaders. Republican Randy Richardville will be Senate Majority Leader and Democrat Gretchen Whitmer will be the Senate Minority Leader. In the House, Republican Jase Bolger will be Speaker and Democrat Richard Hammel will be the House Minority Leader.