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Politics & Government

New Republican leadership in state Legislature lays out priorities

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
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Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Capitol Building, Lansing, MI

The state Legislature will return on January 9 with new leadership.

Senator Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) will lead the Senate and Representative Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) will be the new Speaker of the House.

Chatfield says he’ll go over priorities with members of his party. But his personal top three priorities are roads, changing the state's auto no-fault insurance, and increasing government transparency.

“I think we’ve taken many strides in Michigan in the last eight years. But we still have more that we can do and accomplish and I think that requires building relationships and that’s what I intend on doing,” says Chatfield.

Shirkey wants to improve the state’s education system. He’ll also be looking out for things that could negatively impact the state’s economy in the wake of a potential recession.

Shirkey also agrees with Chatfield that a major priority is changing the state’s auto no-fault laws. And he thinks this will be a topic that will help bring Republicans and Democrats together.

“I think this gives us a topic for which we can all rally around. Doesn’t mean that we won’t have some differences of opinion. But I believe we have an obligation to take action and end up with some material changes,” says Shirkey.

Parts of Michigan have some of the highest auto insurance rates in the nation. But changes with enough votes to get to the governor’s desk have eluded the Legislature for years.

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