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Rogers, Morse and McCann list a few of their priorities for a Democratically-controlled legislature

michigan state capitol interior
Carlos Osorio/AP
Pool AP
Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist opens the state's Electoral College session at the state Capitol, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 in Lansing.

Michigan Democrats will control the state legislature for the first time in almost 40 years.

Pondering the possibilities: that’s what Michigan Democrats were doing at a watch party after the polls closed on Election Day.  What could be accomplished if they won a majority of seats in both houses of the state legislature, a feat that hadn’t been done since Democrats swept the 1982 elections?

State Representative Christine Morse said her list includes funding education and mental health care services. And she wants to continue a bipartisan effort to attract new jobs and business to Michigan. That’s through the state’s Strategic Outreach and Attraction Reserve or SOAR Fund. 

"The governor and the legislature have worked really hard to bring forward the SOAR fund, you know, trying to retain business here and bring business here to move things like E-V and battery industry forward," Morse said.

Morse won a second term to the Michigan House of Representatives. She represents the new 40th District. 

Republican control in Lansing meant the GOP controlled the agenda. Democratic initiatives were stalled and legislation like State Senator Sean McCann’s 10-cent water bottle deposit bill didn’t even get a committee hearing.

“If Democrats come to control the Senate we can change the agenda," he said. "We can advance bills like mine through the chamber. And when you get a bill passed out of the chamber it at least still has a chance to maybe get through the other chamber and make it to the governor's desk and hopefully have the governor sign it.”

McCann was reelected Tuesday. He'll represent the new 19th District.

State Representative Julie Rogers’ race was called early Tuesday night. The incumbent received 77 percent of the votes in Michigan’s 41st Congressional District. But Rogers had another fight in mind when she stopped by the watch party: the one over Michigan’s auto insurance rules, which affect people who have been in catastrophic car crashes.

“We really need to codify and fix some of the issues, particularly the 56-hour cap on families being able to care for their loved ones," she said.

Leona Larson (Gould-McElhone) was a complaint investigator with the Detroit Consumer Affairs Department when she started her media career producing and co-hosting Consumer Conversation with Esther Shapiro for WXYT-Radio in Detroit while freelancing at The Detroit News and other local newspapers. Leona joined WDIV-TV in Detroit as a special projects' producer and later, as an investigative producer. She spent several years teaching journalism for the School of Communications at Western Michigan University. Leona prefers to use her middle name on air because it's shorter and easier to pronounce.