LANSING — As the leadership of Michigan’s 98th Legislature is being finalized, state Representative Harvey Santana (D-Detroit) has accepted an appointment to serve as minority vice chairman for the powerful House Appropriations Committee. Santana is the first Hispanic legislator to attain this high position.

“I want to thank the Speaker of the House, Kevin Cotter, for this opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of not only my constituents, but all Michiganders,” Santana said. “As a public employee, my job is to produce tangible results. I am pleased to be in a position now to be a leader on pressing issues facing our state.”

Rep. Santana is looking to continue the momentum he generated last session. In 2013, as part of the Michigan Competitiveness Committee, Rep. Santana worked across the aisle to pass the Healthy Michigan Plan that expanded Medicaid coverage to an additional 500,000 uninsured individuals. In 2014, he served on the special Committee for Detroit’s Recovery and Michigan’s Future, where he helped negotiate the Grand Bargain package of bills that cleared the way for Detroit to emerge from bankruptcy. This year, the financial hardships of Wayne County and Detroit Public Schools will need to be addressed, and Rep. Santana is looking forward to the challenge.

“For too long, politicians have pointed fingers and made excuses to disguise their own lack of courage and vision,” Santana said. “I refuse to play the ‘gridlock’ game. I am going to work with all of my colleagues, no matter their political affiliation, to craft sound public policy for the people of Michigan.”

In his third and final term as a state representative, Santana is proud of the record eight bills he had signed into law last session, but he has no intention of resting on his laurels. 

“There is still a lot to accomplish,” Rep. Santana said. “I have less than two years left in Lansing, and I don’t plan to waste a minute of it.”