What People Are Saying About Governor Whitmer’s State of the State Address

Tonight, on the heels of GM’s $7 billion dollar investment in “making the state the ‘hub’ of electric vehicle development and manufacturing,” Governor Whitmer delivered a State of the State focused on kitchen-table issues like cutting costs for Michigan families, delivering tax cuts for seniors, getting our kids safely back to school, and giving small businesses the support they need to keep thriving. See below for coverage.

The Detroit News: Michigan Gov. Whitmer Pushes ‘Kitchen Table Issues’ In State Of State Speech

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that she wants to “keep delivering on the kitchen-table issues” such as jobs, schools, clean water and thriving small businesses. […]

She touted the state’s recent announcement of about $666 million in incentives to supplement General Motors $7 billion investment in electric vehicle battery manufacturing facilities in Lansing and Orion Township — a move that countered beliefs that Michigan didn’t have the tools or unity to compete with other states. […]

The governor made clear that “students belong in school” as several school districts, including Detroit and Flint, made the controversial decision this month to transition to remote learning during a surge in the omicron variant.

“We know it’s where they learn best,” Whitmer said about in-person learning. “Remote learning is not as fulfilling or conducive to a child’s growth. In-person learning is critical to social development and mental health. That’s why we will do everything we can to keep kids in the classroom.”  

Crain’s Detroit: Five Key Points From Whitmer’s State Of The State Address

  • Eliminating taxes on retirement income: Whitmer called for making all retirement income from pensions and 401(k) and IRA accounts exempt from the state’s 4.25 percent individual income tax. She says the proposal could save 500,000 families $1,000 annually in taxes.
  • Increasing tax credit for working poor: Whitmer also called for increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit for lower-income workers. […] Nearly 1 million children come from families that qualify for the tax credit and would benefit from larger refund, Whitmer said. “We’ve done a lot of good work to lower costs, but I know families are still feeling squeezed,” Whitmer said. “Rolling back the retirement tax and raising the Michigan EITC will keep more money in people’s pockets, and we can ensure less comes out.”
  • Reducing household costs: Whitmer called for the passage of legislation that would cap the monthly cost of insulin for diabetics at $50. […] The governor used Wednesday’s speech to tout forthcoming $400 per vehicle owner refund checks from the state’s injured drivers trust fund, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Fund or MCCA.
  • Spurring electric vehicle sales: On the heels of Tuesday’s announcement by General Motors Co. that it is investing $6.5 billion in Michigan for the manufacturing of electric vehicles and batteries, Whitmer wants state taxpayers to incentivize buying an EV.
  • ​​Economic development tools: Whitmer used the speech as a victory lap of sorts for GM’s investment, which came after the Legislature created a new $1 billion tax incentives fund for large-scale economic development projects. […] The new incentives were a direct response to critics saying Michigan is unprepared to compete for big industrial projects with southern states that pay foreign automakers direct cash grants for new investment. […] The governor heralded the GM deal as a bipartisan achievement that could be replicated on other issues facing the state.

MLive: Whitmer Calls For Tax Cuts, Historic Education Funding And Bipartisan Unity In 2022 State Of The State Address

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer introduced new proposals to put money in the pockets of Michiganders and make a historic investment in education during her fourth State of the State address Wednesday. […] Whitmer called for partnership with the state Legislature to cut taxes, boost education funding, lower the cost of insulin, and create a new rebate for electric vehicle purchases while acknowledging the challenges her administration has faced since taking office in 2019.

“We’ve all been through a lot,” Whitmer said. “It’s rational to feel frustrated. Exhausted. Even cynical. Fortunately, the cure for cynicism is competence.” […]

A backdrop of heavy machinery and Michigan-made vehicles was symbolic of Whitmer’s emphasis on boosting the state’s manufacturing industry. One day earlier, she celebrated a new $7 billion investment by General Motors to expand its electric vehicle production in Michigan. The deal is supported with $824.1 million in state incentives and is expected to create 4,000 jobs. […]

Whitmer said she plans to introduce a school aid budget that marks the largest state education funding increase in two decades, without raising taxes. The governor also touted work on her signature issue fixing the “damn roads.” […] Whitmer said 900 bridges and 13,000 lane miles of road have been repaired, rebuilt, or rehabilitated during her first term.

Associated Press: Whitmer Proposes Tax Cuts, More Mental Health Workers

Delivering her second straight State of the State speech virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she called for exempting retirement income from taxation — saving 500,000 households an average of $500 a year — and fully restoring a credit for 730,000 low- and moderate-wage families who on average would get an extra $350 annually.

She proposed a $2,500 state credit for the purchase of an electric vehicle and charging equipment on the heels of General Motors’ announced $7 billion investment in Michigan to convert a factory to make electric pickup trucks and to build a new battery cell plant. […]

The governor said despite the pandemic, the state has made strides funding education, adding auto jobs, fixing roads and lowering auto insurance premiums.

One goal, she said, is increasing the number of mental health workers. She proposed expanding a program through which the state repays up to $200,000 in student loans for those who work in nonprofit clinics in areas where this is a shortage of health care professionals. And she called for increased funding of mental health employees in schools.

Detroit Free Press: Whitmer, In State Of The State, Says Michigan Has Made Great Strides Despite Pandemic

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer put forward her case for re-election in her fourth State of the State address Wednesday, saying the state has made great strides under her leadership, despite a global pandemic and a host of other unexpected challenges. […] Whitmer pledged continued major funding for Michigan schools and promised the state will do all it can to get all children safely back into classrooms as quickly as possible. “Remote learning is not as fulfilling or conducive to a child’s growth. In-person learning is critical to social development and mental health,” she said. […]

Among the accomplishments she cited: More than $420 million in aid to businesses hurt by the pandemic, expanded access to child care, and criminal justice reforms that have included the ability for some Michiganders to expunge their criminal records and resume life with a clean slate. […]

Whitmer reiterated a pledge to veto any legislation that seeks to restriction access to abortion, as national expectations grow that the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

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