The Governor delivered her second State of the State speech to the Legislature and expressed the need to focus on action and getting to work to fix Michigan’s roads. The speech focused on four key themes, infrastructure, jobs and the economy, education and healthcare.
On infrastructure, she announced that she will be asking the State Transportation Commission to issue $3.5 billion in state road bonds. Her Rebuild Michigan plan will add and expand 122 major new road projects and nearly double the amount available to fix state roads over the next five years. She directly acknowledged that these new projects will only address the worst of our most highly traveled state roads and that we still need the legislature to come up with a real, long term solution to fix local roads.
On jobs and the economy, she highlighted the deal with Fiat Chrysler, the Gordie Howe International Bridge, and the recently announced $2.2 billion investment by GM in their Detroit Hamtramck Facility. The Governor also highlighted her directive to the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity to expand the right to overtime pay to tens of thousands of Michigan workers.
On education, she discussed a partnership with the Community Foundation of Greater Flint, the Skillman Foundation, the Battle Creek Community Foundation and others, to help families navigate the Third Grade Reading Laws signed by former Governor Snyder. In 2019 the Governor set an ambitious goal to increase the number of Michiganders with a post-secondary credential to 60% by 2030. To get there, she offered her support to bipartisan legislation called Michigan Reconnect. This legislation would provide tuition free skills training and degree programs for adults.
On healthcare, Governor Whitmer called on the Legislature to do the right thing and work together to enshrine protections for people with pre-existing conditions into law. She also announced plans to create a task force focused on lowering the cost of prescription drugs and ensure every woman who chooses to have a child has the resources she needs for a healthy pregnancy, birth, and postpartum care.
For a copy of the speech please click the following link. STATE OF THE STATE FULL SPEECH – WHITMER 2020
John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at email@example.com or 517-908-0303.