Local legislators O’Malley, VanderWall sworn in

State Rep. Jack O’Malley (right), of Lake Ann, was sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Markman (left) Wednesday at the state Capitol for his first term as state Representative for the 101st House District. Also pictured are O’Malley’s daughter Grace O’Malley and his wife, Robin O’Malley. (Courtesy photo)

LANSING — Michigan’s 100th Legislature is underway and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is set to deliver her State of the State address on Feb. 5.

The legislature’s two-year session opened on Wednesday, which was when returning and new members were sworn in during a ceremony at the state Capitol.

State Rep. Jack O’Malley, R-Lake Ann, was joined by family as he was sworn in for his first term as state representative for the 101st House District. Administering the oath of office was Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman.

The 101st House District is comprised of Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee and Mason counties.

Sen. Curt VanderWall was sworn in as senator for the 35th District; Markman administered the oath of office.

VanderWall was joined on the Senate floor by his wife Diane; their son Nick, Nick’s wife Holly, and their daughter Kelsey; daughter Alyssa; son Hunter; parents Virginia and Marv VanderWall; in-laws Ralph and Judy Teichert; and several other friends and family members.

“I am excited to get to work as state senator on behalf of the people of the 35th District,” said VanderWall, R-Ludington. “There is a lot of work ahead of us.”

The 35th District includes the counties of Benzie, Crawford, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Manistee, Mason, Missaukee, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon and Wexford.

About a third of the 148 legislators are first-timers, with most of them in the 110-member House. Turnover is substantial in the 38-seat Senate, where just nine senators are back due to term limits. Many new senators are former House members. Republicans have 58-52 and 22-16 edges, which are narrower margins than at any point since the GOP assumed full control of the Legislature eight years ago. That dynamic could boost the chances for bipartisanship.

Republicans have smaller majorities in both chambers following the November election and will have to contend with a Democratic governor for the first time since 2009-10, when Michigan last had a split government.

Legislative work is unlikely to progress much until Whitmer delivers the State of the State address and proposes her first budget in early March.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Sen. Curt VanderWall (left) was sworn in as senator for the 35th District on Wednesday by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen J. Markman (right) during a ceremony at the state Capitol. VanderWall was accompanied by many family members and friends. (Courtesy photo)

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