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House Democrats and Republicans pick new leadership

The election is over and now it’s time to plan for the next session.  That was the feeling as Republicans and Democrats chose party leaders two days after the election.

The House Republicans chose Tom Leonard for House Speaker.

Speaker-elect Leonard says he has three main issues he hopes to address next year. Mental health reform, improving skilled trades, and addressing long-term debt and liabilities. Leonard says he is ready to corral the 63-member majority.

“Well what I think I have shown over the four-years that I’ve been here is I’m a consensus builder,” he said. “I’m not afraid to take on tough issues.”

The DeWitt lawmaker plans to put together an action plan for next year, though the timing is unknown.

“That is certainly something that I plan to do with this caucus as we go forward,” he said. “I believe it’s the best way again to hold us accountable which is what the people want.”

Dan Lauwers will be the majority Floor Leader in the House and Lee Chatfield will be Speaker Pro Tempore.

For the Democrats, Sam Singh filled the hole left by current Minority Leader Tim Greimel who announced yesterday that he would not run for the position again.

“I look forward to working on behalf of Democrats in my caucus to talk about the values that we have about focusing on education, focusing on job creation, and making sure that we have an economy that’s working for all citizens,” he said.

Representative Christine Greig will be the Minority Floor Leader for the Democrats.

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