LANSING, Mich. (WZMQ) – This Morning, Governor Gretchen Whitmer addressed the public about her legislative priorities for the rest of 2023. Governor Whitmer started her address today stating her focus is on the health of the people, the planet, the economy, and democracy in Michigan.
In Her address, Governor Whitmer outlined the $1.5 billion invested during her term in public safety, to recruit and train police officers, and create resources for mental health and addiction treatment.
“This year’s bipartisan budget builds on it so we can buy firefighters new gear, upgrade correctional facilities, and so much more.” Governor Whitmer said. “Speaker Tate and Mayor Duggan (Lansing) are working on legislation to secure dedicated funding targeted toward public safety and fighting crime to make our communities safer.”
The governor also discussed new healthcare legislation, stating her initiative to codify what she called cost saving measures of The Affordable Care Act into state law and create a Prescription Drug Affordability Board. She says the board would be made up of leaders in economics, health care, supply chain, and academics. Governor Whitmer says the board would use data and evidence based research to tackle the cost of prescription drugs.
“We need to hold bad actors across the supply chain accountable for skyrocketing prices,” Governor Whitmer said. “While also encouraging research and development for new treatments and cures made right here in Michigan.”
When addressing environmental health, Governor Whitmer emphasized a 100% clean energy standard for michigan. Stating that using energy produced from wind, solar, and other common sense sources would create jobs, build projects, and save money for households. She said that by 2050, those actions will save Michigan families $5.5 billion in household energy costs, create 160,000 jobs, and bring Michigan $14.7 billion of federal funding.
The Governor said Michigan’s unemployment rate is at its lowest since 2000, and emphasized maintaining the health of our economy with programs to support workers, like child care, and medical leave.
“While many large companies already offer this benefit, small businesses often cannot afford to.” The Governor said. “Enacting paid leave levels the playing field, helping small businesses attract and retain workers.”
Governor Whitmer discussed her plans to streamline construction permitting. To make things happen faster, she says she wants to pass legislation that would streamline the permitting process for advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, and housing.
The Governor ended her address by stressing the importance of supporting voter security during the upcoming elections.
“We cannot allow the will of the people to be tossed out or overturned, and we can’t permit politicians to stay in office despite getting voted out.” Governor Whitmer said. “We must ensure Michiganders are heard and respected.“
Today’s address sets the tone for the topics discussed as the state legislature heads back into session starting on Tuesday.