Lawmakers wrap up work for the year with differing opinions on success


The state Legislature has wrapped up work for the year. As Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber reports, Republican and Democratic lawmakers have different opinions about how successful 2011 was.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville told lawmakers this week that they should be proud of the accomplishments of the Republican-led House and Senate chambers this year.

"Unquestionably this has been one of the most productive in recent history for the Michigan Legislature," he says.

Richardville says a quick budget process, changes to the state's tax structure, and big changes to the education system are among his proudest achievements.

But the work that the GOP is proud of is what Democrats say made 2011 a horrible year for Michigan's middle-class families and vulnerable people. Democratic lawmakers say cuts to schools and a new tax plan on seniors put the priorities of big business over the wellbeing of people.