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Democratic majority restored as Xiong, Herzberg sworn into Michigan House

Main gallery of the Michigan House of Representatives
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio

Two new Democratic members of the Michigan House of Representatives were sworn in Tuesday, meaning their party now has a slim, two-seat majority in the chamber and could move to advance legislation that had stalled while the House was tied.

Representatives Peter Herzberg (D-Westland) and Mai Xiong (D-Warren) won special elections earlier this month to fill vacancies in the state House that had existed since last November.

Xiong said one of her first priorities is working on the state budget.

“For me personally, as a mom with children in the public school system, I care a lot about making sure that we invest in our public schools, making sure that we maintain the free breakfast and lunch. That’s really important for families in order to help save them money,” Xiong told reporters after her first day of session.

Both Xiong and Herzberg are coming in with about seven months to go until Election Day, when they’ll have to run again to defend their new seats.

The House had been tied 54-54 between Democrats and Republicans. 

Having their two-seat majority back could provide a chance for Democrats to get some of their previously-stalled priorities moving again, even without Republican votes. That could include bills to expand access to birth control or change how the state’s trial courts receive funding.