HEADLINES : Michigan
Legislators' agenda will test Gov. Rick Snyder's leadership
Lansing -Lawmakers return from their spring break Tuesday - and back into a tug of war with Gov. Rick Snyder over the state budget that started before their vacation.
Snyder and the Legislature have agreed to get the budget done by June 1 - like last year when they delivered the fastest budget in three decades. But with a year's experience under their belts, Republican lawmakers are showing more independence.
"He's not the new sheriff in town any more; incumbency is setting in," said Democratic political strategist Jill Alper. "He's moved on from the bold strokes of his initial initiatives, so this is a test for him, and we'll have to see how he handles this test of his leadership."
After a year of heeding Snyder's request that they narrow their focus to the state's economy, Republican legislators are increasingly advancing their own agendas, political observers say. Constituents in many districts are clamoring for attention to social issues or special interests like gun control and animal abuse.
Legislators are listening, especially in the House, where members face re-election in November.