LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Twenty-eight new lawmakers are joining the Michigan Legislature on the first day of the next two-year session.
The new House members will be sworn in Wednesday along with those re-elected to the 110-member chamber. Senators are in the middle of their four-year terms.
Opening day is filled with pomp, smiles and excitement before the real work begins weeks down the line. But acrimony over the GOP's passage of a right-to-work law in December may linger.
Republican state Rep. Jase Bolger of Marshall will serve another term as speaker of the Michigan House. He was elected by his colleagues Wednesday on a 107-2 vote.
Such votes typically are unanimous, but two Democrats voted against Bolger leading the chamber for two more years.
An Ingham County judge acting as a one-person grand jury is collecting evidence to decide whether to charge Bolger or anyone else with crimes in a Democratic lawmaker's switch to the Republican caucus in May.
Kent County's prosecutor says Bolger and then-Rep. Roy Schmidt broke no laws, but that their actions represented a fraud on the public. Bolger has apologized but insists he broke no laws.
Union members also plan to demonstrate outside the Capitol, and to deliver cookies or crumbs to legislators depending on how they've voted on bills.
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Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.