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State lawmakers haven’t tied down agenda for lame duck; House Democrats see a shakeup

House Minority Leader Tim Greimel.
House Minority Leader Tim Greimel says he won't run to lead his caucus for the 2017-2018 session.

Republicans have hung onto their majority in the state House. Meanwhile Democrats are planning a change of leadership for next year.

President-elect Donald Trump’s surprise victory trickled down to the House Republicans. The House kept its Republican majority by the same numbers and puts them in a more relaxed position going into the Lame Duck session.

But the Democrats are getting a bit of a shake-up. House Minority Leader Tim Greimel announced he is not running to lead his caucus for the 2017-2018 session. This leaves a leadership hole in the minority party. 

Greimel says even before the election he planned to step down if the Democrats did not take a majority.

“You know I’ve poured my heart and soul into the position of Minority Leader for four years and I’m looking to move on and do other things,” he said.

Looking forward to the Lame Duck session, both the House and the Senate have changes to Michigan’s energy policy at the top of their list of priorities. But neither chamber has confirmed an agenda for the upcoming months.

House Speaker Kevin Cotter says they will focus on quality over quantity.

“Less is more,” he said. “I want to make sure that we get things right and do reforms. But at the same time it’s still too early to tell even though we are in lame duck now.”

Because the House will keep its Republican majority, Cotter says they are not going to rush through the next couple months.

“Something like energy I would still like to get done this term,” he said. “But at the same time I don’t stand here feeling like we have to do everything. There are many capable minds that will follow us next term.”

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
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