The Michigan Legislature began a new two-year session Wednesday with new faces and new leaders, who pledged to work together and avoid gridlock before being met on their first day with some sobering budget numbers.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed laws Monday to spend $1.3 billion a year more to mend deteriorating roads and other transportation infrastructure, contingent on Michigan voters increasing the state sales tax to 7 percent in May.
Republicans with bolstered majorities in the Legislature will commence a two-year session with the familiar routine of swearings-in, Gov. Rick Snyder's State of the State address and his budget proposal.
New Republican House Speaker Kevin Cotter initially doubted a proposed sales tax increase to fix Michigan's roads but says he's now fully behind the plan because not doing anything would lead to a bigger tax hike in the future.
A state attorney fired for an anti-gay campaign against a college student can't collect unemployment benefits, the Michigan appeals court says, rejecting claims that his off-hours activities were protected by the First Amendment.
Michael Cavanagh is retiring from the Michigan Supreme Court as the second-longest justice in state history, one whose 32-year tenure led to his participation in just over 2,000 opinions in which the court typically set legal precedents.