New, more Republican Michigan Legislature's early agenda depends on May vote on sales tax hike



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LANSING, Michigan — Republicans with bolstered majorities in the Michigan Legislature will commence a two-year session next week.

And much of their early agenda could hinge on a statewide vote in May on increasing the sales tax to help improve roads.

If voters boost the sales tax, Republicans could decide there's enough budget cushion to cut the income tax even if the idea doesn't excite Gov. Rick Snyder.

If the sales tax hike is rejected, lawmakers will be forced back to the drawing board to consider alternatives for boosting transportation funding — if the appetite even remains to fix deteriorating roads.

Republicans will have 63-47 and 27-11 edges in the House and Senate.

Forty-three lawmakers are entirely new to the 148-member Legislature. Another 10 are senators being promoted from the House.

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