LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – In its first session for 2023, the new Michigan legislature is making history on two fronts.
As the first bang of the gavel rang out, the Michigan House of Representatives was in Democratic hands.
Likewise with the call to order in the Michigan Senate.
The 148 members of the state House and the 38 member Senate met with Democrats in control for the first time in several decades.
The history-making begins with the first Black Speaker of the House, former Detroit Lion and Marine Joe Tate. He was not challenged by all Republicans, but by nine ultra conservative Republicans did vote against him.
Over in the Senate, Democrat Sen. Winnie Brinks became the first woman to lead the upper chamber, which she said is more diverse than ever before.
“It is significant that the gavel has changed hands from Republicans to Democrats. People who, in the past, have been excluded from these halls of power due to race, religion, and sexual orientation are now Senators,” Brinks said.
Leading the GOP in the Senate, Aric Nesbitt said Michigan citizens expect politicians to work together in order to “solve problems families are facing across the state.”
Pledging to work with Republicans, Rep. Tate – without calling out former President Trump and others by name – asked everyone to “tell the truth.”
“It is our duty to be truth tellers,” Tate said. “Our commonalities are more than our differences.”
New House GOP leader Rep. Matt Hall from west Michigan wants to make sure liberal Democrats don’t move the state in the “wrong direction.”
With housekeeping chores out of the way, lawmakers await Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s agenda-setting State of the State message on Jan. 25.
Let the history making begin.