For the first time in the history of the Michigan House of Representatives, a woman will lead the powerful budget committee.

Republican Rep. Laura Cox was named Monday as the next House Appropriations chairwoman by Speaker-elect Tom Leonard. Cox, who will take control in January, is a first-term lawmaker from Livonia.

Leonard says Cox "is the best person for the job," and "no one is more qualified or better prepared." Cox says she is "honored and humbled" by the pending appointment.

Cox currently is a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Before becoming a legislator, she was a Wayne County commissioner and formerly worked as a U.S. Customs special agent.

Cox is married to former state Attorney General Mike Cox.