State lawmakers return to Lansing on Wednesday and the climate at the state capitol for republicans and the governor may be chilly. Democrats are still feeling the sting from losses they suffered in the lame duck session.
The labor anti-right to work demonstrations are gone, but not forgotten. The fall out from the confrontation continues to have an impact on the Michigan political scene. For one thing, when they vote later this week on electing Jase Bolger as the new speaker, will there be the traditional unanimous vote from both parties?
Some democrats are still upset with the treatment they got from the House republicans and some may not support the speaker. That will be one of the issues that the new house democratic leader Rep. Tim Greimel and Rep. Jase Bolger discuss this week when they meet behind closed doors.
Meanwhile, moderate republicans and independent voters have been watching the governor's role in all this and even he concedes some of them are taking a second look. One of those is the Democratic President of the State Board of Education John Austin.
He says he is friends with the governor and wants to continue to work with him, but he is not sure anymore that Governor Snyder is promoting the moderate policies of former moderate GOP Goveror Bill Milliken. Austin says Snyder needs to win them back.
"I think it is unfortunate that he has not proven to be the moderate centrist a lot of people, independents and democrats who elected him expected," said Austin. (Reproter) Is he a milliken moderate? "Not on the record. Maybe in his heart," said Austin.
The governor is hoping long term, moderates and independents will agree with what he is attempting to do, but at least for the time being he concedes.
"I think it really caused them pause with the divisivness. He said it shouldn't happen and it did happen," said Snyder. "And the best thing you can do is stay focused on trying to do the best job you can."
Two years ago, democrats and labor were willing to give the governor the benefit of the doubt. Now that goodwill appears to be a thing of the past, which makes the new year for the governor more challenging.