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Representative Joe Tate's plans as the new Democratic Speaker of the House

David Shane via flickr

State Representative Joe Tate (D-Detroit) has been selected as the first Black Speaker of the House, after the Michigan Legislature flipped to Democratic control.

Tate told Michigan Radio's Stateside that he plans to continue working with Republicans in the House, but will use the Democratic majority in the House and Senate to pursue the issues that Michigan voters were most concerned about this election.

Tate said he is excited to continue to work for Michigan voters, and to be in the position to pass legislation with the Democratic majority.

“We certainly won't be shy with continuing to voice, and now put into action with gavels in our hands, the values that we've been talking about and the priorities we've been talking about, to get things done,” he said.

Among Tate's priorities will be allocating the state's billions of dollars in budget surplus.

“We are going to make sure that we’re going to keep our promises of what we said on the campaign trail,” Tate said, referring to his focus on affordable housing, schools, and jobs, all of which are areas the budget surplus might address.

Tate hopes to spend the money on “areas that we can invest in that will be transformational” for Michigan.

Taylor Bowie is a senior studying English Literature at the University of Michigan and an intern in the Michigan Radio newsroom. She is originally from Owosso, Michigan.