GENERIC: state capital, Lansing

For the first time in nearly a decade, a democrat is in the Governor’s office.

Despite the gridlock in Washington, Senator Jim Ananich says both parties in Michigan want to work together to create change.

“Hopefully we can extend the honeymoon as long as possible. And realize that this is a job. We have a job to do for the taxpayers and for the citizens of Michigan. It’s our responsibility to find common ground,” Ananich said.

Democrats and Republicans alike say they need to get along to get legislation through, something Republican Ann Bollin is excited to do.

“It was inspiring! I think we’re going to have a good session in front of us. A lot of cooperation and we’re all willing to work hard for our residents in Michigan,” Bollin said.

Bollin said the federal government will not affect Michigan and that both parties are ready to work together.

“I think we have a great speaker and minority leader. And I think we are all ready to work together," Bollin said.

As far as what the two sides want to address first, it varies.

“We have to work on talent and workforce development skills/gaps. A lot of folks have jobs but not very good jobs. So they’re going to need help to get to the next level, whether that be childcare of more training. I also think that literacy is a big issue, our state is falling more and more behind,” Ananich said.

Bollin thinks Michigan needs to do an auto insurance reform.

“We need to have a plan to fix the roads, and of course address our education," she said.

The state's crumbling roads are a big topic of conversation in the new legislature.

"It's going to cost some dollars. We're going to have to first appropriate the correct amount of dollars to fix the roads," Neeley said. "So the appropriation process is very important. The roads are going to cost."

State Rep. Bill Sowerby said this new group will work together to tackle the issues in Michigan.

"I am optimistic that this new group, the people that came in and with the experience that the returning ones have, we are going to realize that gridlock is not going to make the state move forward," Sowerby said. 

Lawmakers say the honeymoon phase will soon be over when the real work begins next week in Lansing.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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