The Michigan Legislature will gavel in for its 100th session this week. Lawmakers say they have one multi-billion dollar issue to tackle first.
At the end of the first week of the session, economists and numbers wonks will gather at the Capitol to tell lawmakers how big the budget should be this year.
The layout for how Michigan will spend its money for the upcoming year will be one of the first big hurdles the new Legislature and governor have to work on.
Christine Greig will be named leader of the Democrats in the state House.
“The budget is going to be just a critical statement of values of this 100th Legislature,” she says.
During his eight years in office, former governor Rick Snyder always signed the budgets months before the October deadline.
Senator Mike Shirkey will lead the Republicans in the Senate. He says he’s ready to work with Democrats.
“I’m looking for reasons and ways in which we can work together and if others choose the opposite because of historical actions then that’s their prerogative and that would be unfortunate,” he says.
So far, all leaders in the House and Senate have said they’re willing to work with members of the opposite party.
The session starts on Wednesday, with full weeks scheduled until the end of March.