Tonight, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her fourth State of the State address. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the address was given virtually from Detroit. She opened the address paying homage to the over 30,000 Michiganders who have died from COVID-19, as well as the first responders and healthcare workers who are continuing to work throughout the pandemic. She talked about what unites Michigan residents, including the desire for good paying jobs, great schools, clean water, safe communities, thriving small businesses, a chance to get ahead, and hope for the future.
In the words of the governor, “the state of our state is strong and getting stronger every day.” To highlight this, she pointed to a list of accomplishments during her first term in office, including repairing or rebuilding over 13,000 miles of roads. Additionally, she spoke on the long list of accomplishments that Democrats and Republicans have made together over the past few years. This includes expanding access to childcare, expanding resources for local police departments, criminal justice reforms, passing the MI Reconnect and Future for Frontliners programs, closing the funding gap between schools, and the largest education investment in state history for three years in a row.
In terms of new proposals, Governor Whitmer had three pillars, the first of which is tax reform. She’s calling for a repeal of the retirement tax, which would save half a million households an average of $1,000 per year. Additionally, she’s calling for an increase to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Accomplishing this would lift 22,000 people out of working poverty by providing an average refund of $3,000 per year for those eligible. This would benefit half of the children in Michigan.
The second pillar focuses on lowering costs, acknowledging the burned many families are feeling due to inflation. Governor Whitmer is calling for a cap on the cost of insulin in order to save residents on out-of-pocket expenses. In order to make electric vehicles more affordable for families, the governor is calling for a $2000/car and a $500/in-home charging equipment credits. She recognized that owning an electric vehicle saves a family on overall yearly costs.
Lastly, Governor Whitmer wants to expand access to mental health services for residents. She would accomplish that through investments that would expand the workforce in order to increase access, expand loan repayment programs for professionals, and will propose an additional investment next month when she presents her budget to the legislature.
In closing, Governor Whitmer stated she is willing to work with anyone to deliver on “kitchen table issues” and to invest the Federal resources that Michigan has been, and continues, to receive.
For more information or to watch the governor’s 22-minute address, please visit Michigan.gov/MISOTS22.
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