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Michigan Republicans Retain State House Control, Elect New Leadership

Michigan House Republicans

After holding a majority in the Michigan House of Representatives for the sixth time in a row, Republicans elected new leadership Thursday.

Representative Jason Wentworth of Farwell was elected to be the new Speaker of the House, following the end of Speaker Lee Chatfield’s term. Wentworth is credited with spearheading no-fault auto insurance reform that passed in 2019.

In a press conference, Wentworth said healthcare and ethics reform would be priorities over the next two years. He said it’s time for Governor Gretchen Whitmer to negotiate with Republicans on the state’s coronavirus response, and called Whitmer’s request for a mask mandate codified by the legislature—a stunt.

“When in fact we’ve sent her plans prior to this and this is the one thing she calls out the legislature, and I believe at that point it looks more to me like a press stunt than it does an actual policy,” Wentworth said.

Currently, a statewide mask mandate is in place by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Thursday afternoon, the state’s Chief Medical Executive said if behavior doesn’t change, models show Michigan could see 100 deaths per day by the end of December.

Representative Donna Lasinski will lead the House Democrats.

Abigail Censky is the Politics & Government reporter at WKAR. She started in December 2018.
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