Whitmer agenda: roads, jobs, schools, health

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

State of Michigan

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivered her second State of the State address Wednesday, laying out her legislative plans for Michigan.

She focused on roads, jobs, education and healthcare.

Whitmer began with the story of Monte Scott, a 13-year-old boy who took action on fixing the roads into his own hands, with dirt and a shovel.

She then recounted successes of the past year and said her speech would be shorter than usual.

“The people of Michigan don’t want more ceremony,” Whitmer said. “They want concrete action, and sometimes they just want concrete.”

 Whitmer announced her plan to begin the sale of state road bonds to expand projects to fix roads. This plan would seek repairs without an increase in the gas tax. Whitmer said the plan would save time, money and lives. 

For education, Whitmer said she plans to help families navigate the state’s third grade retention law, as well as expanding post-secondary education programs through the Michigan Reconnect program. This would be a tuition-free economic/workforce program that provides certificate or associate degree training in high-demand skills.

She also described the Governor’s FAFSA Challenge, which would reward Michigan High Schools with the highest rates of Federal Student Aid FAFSA application completion.

“Everyone deserves a path to postsecondary success,” Whitmer said.

On healthcare, the governor reinforced her stance that dismantling the Affordable Care Act would be disastrous. She then talked about her plans to reduce opioid related deaths and to help expand care for new mothers, particularly those of color.

Whitmer concluded with a call to action to both legislators and citizens. “In 2020 in Michigan we can afford to be a little impatient. We need to be a little impatient … it’s time for Lansing to catch up. It’s time for action. Let’s get to work. Let’s move some dirt.”

She was scheduled to meet the next day with the State Transportation Committee to discuss the sale of state road bonds.

Whitmer’s State of the State address is a warmup for Feb. 4, when she is to give the Democratic response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address.

Editor’s note: This article was changed to correct an edit so that it now accurately reflects the nature of the Governor’s FAFSA Challenge.

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