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MI Rep. Eric Leutheuser joins the new House ways and means com­mittee. Courtesy|Eric Leutheuser

State Rep. Eric Leutheuser, who rep­re­sents Hillsdale and Branch counties, now serves as a member of the newly formed House Ways and Means Com­mittee.

“We’ll be looking at every­thing from health policy to edu­cation,” Leutheuser said. “Things that do have an impact on our local com­munity and across the state.”

Ways and Means Com­mittee Chair and State Rep. Brandt Iden said this is the first time the com­mittee has ever been created in Michigan, and the purpose of it is to add a duel review process to policy leg­is­lation.

“The work of the com­mittee is going to focused on ensuring that every bill we pass to the floor is ready to go,” Iden said. “All the changes to bills that are required before they get to the floor are going to be done between the first com­mittee and then our com­mittee, and every other com­mittee will report to our com­mittee before the bill goes to the entire floor.”

Both Leutheuser and Iden said the com­mittee will be working closely with bill sponsors and chairs of other com­mittees.

“We have to have rela­tion­ships with them to make sure we form the right policy before we vote on it and move it to the floor,” Iden said.  

Iden said Leutheuser will be working closely with various stake­holders and groups who are impacted by bills under review.

“Leutheuser will take on the role, as one of the seven members, who will be leading those con­ver­sa­tions to make sure all those interests are worked out prior to the bill being voted on by the full house,” Iden said.

Leutheuser said the com­mittee will meet three times a week and deal with a wide variety of bills.

“It’s going to be ter­rif­i­cally inter­esting,” Leutheuser said. “It’ll be chal­lenging when there’s a high volume of bills to review.”

In pre­vious terms, Leutheuser served on the Com­merce and Trade, Tax Policy, and Financial Lia­bility Reform com­mittees. He said dif­ferent members within the Ways and Means Com­mittee will take the lead on dif­ferent topics.

“We try to use our pre­vious expe­ri­ences to make our own com­mittee work as smoothly as pos­sible,” Leutheuser said.

Ways and Means Com­mittee Clerk Eddie Sleeper clerked for the Tax Policy Com­mittee while Leutheuser served on it.

“He’s a very thoughtful and smart rep­re­sen­tative,” Sleeper said.

Iden said he and Leutheuser have been good friends since beginning their time as rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“He and I started together,” Iden said. “I look forward to working with Rep. Leutheuser and my other col­leagues to make sure that we can come up with the best pos­sible leg­is­lation for the state of Michigan because that’s our job.”