(WLNS) – Michigan’s 148 legislators were back at the state capitol today as they begin a new session with plenty of new faces including new legislative leaders. 6 News Capitol Correspondent Tim Skubick takes a look at the opening day festivities.
The opening day of the legislative session can’t compare to a championship football game. Nor the Detroit auto show.
But for the families and friends of state lawmakers this is a big deal. It revitalizes State Representative Peter Lucido. “I feel energized. I feel enthused and I feel special there’s a great group of people here who will roll up their sleeves and get to work.” I asked if he was intimidated. His answer? “Not at all.”
There are 44 news members of the Michigan House or a 40% turnover from last year.
And ten new state senators although nine of them served in the house last year.
State Senator Mike Kowall of Oakland County sizes up the newcomers. “We gotta train them on where the bath rooms are initially.” When asked if they will figure that out, his response was “It’ll become urgent real soon.”
As the kids played with their gadgets and one retro girl had a coloring book, the chief justice did the swearing in in both chambers.
The new GOP Speaker of the House, Rep. Kevin Cotter, has his hands full trying to get all the new members up to speed. “It’s a big day especially for our newly elected members and 44 will be a challenge. It takes time for members to get up to speed on everything.”
With the ceremonial stuff out of the way, lawmakers now await the governor’s State of the State message next week which sets the agenda for what legislators will do to you, and for you, in the new year.