91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

New Republican leadership in state Legislature lays out priorities

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
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.

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
Related Content