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Politics & Government

5 things to know about Michigan Legislature in 2014

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Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
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What's going on under the dome?

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Legislature formally kicked off 2014 with no heavy lifting. But voting could occur this week, when lawmakers also gather to hear Governor Rick Snyder's annual State of the State speech.

Budget work will dominate the first half of the year. Legislators have nearly $1 billion more to work with than expected, and one priority is spending more on road upkeep without raising taxes.

Lawmakers also are talking up an election-year tax cut, perhaps in the state income tax.

Legislators could put off less pressing or more politically charged bills until December's lame-duck session.

One area getting attention is education. Legislation to rank schools with A to F grades, change how the scores are determined and hold back third-graders not proficient in reading were held up in the House last month.