ESCANABA, Mich. (WZMQ) – On Thursday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited the U.P. State Fair for her annual luncheon.
The Governor highlighted her three priorities for Michigan this year—education, housing, and growing the economy. In an interview with WZMQ 19 News, she said she is proud of the state’s recently-signed budget.
“We have paid down billions of dollars of debt that previous administrations had incurred,” said Whitmer. “We have compiled the biggest rainy day fund in our state history, and we created a rainy day fund for education.”
According to Whitmer, her administration also made the biggest public education investment in Michigan history. It includes more funding for transportation for rural schools, as well as free breakfasts and lunches for every public school student in the state.
“This is a big deal for families,” said Whitmer. “This will de-stigmatize a free meal because everyone’s going to be getting it. And it saves a family about $850 a year per student because they don’t have to buy and pack lunches.”
In June of 2018, the Governor surveyed the Father’s Day Flood that caused extensive damage to Houghton and Hancock. She says she worked quickly to declare a state of emergency.
Some roads affected by the flooding have yet to be repaired. Whitmer says she is still dedicated to the long process of restoring them.
“While the catastrophe happened in a very short period of time, it’s a longer time to get it back restored,” she said. “I appreciate people’s patience and want to reiterate that we are committed to making sure that we fully rebuild.”
Whitmer emphasized the importance of visiting the Upper Peninsula to speak with community members and business owners about the issues that are important to them. She says she is taking their feedback with her when she returns to Lansing.
“I love the U.P., and you can’t love the U.P. without loving yoopers,” Whitmer said. “It informs everything from the next budget that we’ve started writing already to the policy work that we’re doing as a state. The U.P. matters.”
WZMQ 19 News is a proud sponsor of the 2023 U.P. State Fair.