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New state House speaker wants to bring civility back to Michigan political process

Jan 11, 2017

It's a new year and a fresh start for the Michigan Legislature with a new session kicking off today.

In the State House, there are 43 new members and a brand-new speaker: DeWitt Republican Representative Tom Leonard.

Leonard joined Stateside to talk about his path to House Speaker. Starting out as a college kid wanting to be the next Jerry Maguire to law school and later a prosecutor and a politician.

He talked about his new role as House speaker, and what his priorities are for the Legislature in 2017. He would like to see the teacher pension system fixed and he plans to be a champion for mental health reform (especially among prisoners).

Listen to the full interview above to hear his opinion of how the Flint water crisis has been handled in Lansing and what more that can be done, and what he thinks about the possibility of expanding the Freedom of Information Act to include the governor and his executive staff.

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