LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — The new Michigan Legislature, in for major changes in leadership and agenda after the last election, was sworn in Wednesday in Lansing.

For former Holland mayor and freshman Rep. Nancy DeBoer, R-Holland, the start of the new session for the Michigan Legislature is an opportunity to help people and find common ground.

“I’m here to care about other people — whatever they come from, whatever their background and whatever their political party — and I’m trying to find points of agreement that we can work together on,” DeBoer said.

Finding that agreement is always a goal at the beginning of a new session. As Democrats took control of both chambers for the first time in 40 years, the agenda will no doubt be different.

Freshman Rep. John Fitzgerald, D-Wyoming, said that is just what is needed.

“We have now a changing Legislature in both chambers but specifically in the House. We have an opportunity now to change and … pivot ourselves in terms of what we want to accomplish in this incoming session,” Fitzgerald said.

The leadership in both chambers has changed. State Sen. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, now leads the Senate, the first woman to do so. State Rep. Joe Tate, D-Detroit, will lead the House, the first Black man to hold that position.

Democrats have a list of things they’ve wanted to do for years now and see this as their opportunity to accomplish those goals, although it is unclear how successful they will be while managing narrow majorities.

“Now we have the chance to really just take the brakes off and really get started,” Rep. Rachel Hood, D-Grand Rapids, said. “It’s a lot of work. It is arguably 40 years of good policy that hasn’t been seen and hasn’t been discussed.”

To achieve some of those agenda items, Democrats will have to have Republican support.

— News 8’s Madalyn Buursma contributed to this report.