LANSING - New Governor Gretchen Whitmer gave her first State of the State address on Tuesday, February 12th. Her first message to the House of Representative as the head of the Executive Branch was one of hope and bipartisanship. She stressed the importance of reaching across the isle to get things done, saying that "the person across the isle is not the enemy. Extreme partisanship is the enemy. Self interest is the enemy." The ideas may be different, but Governor Whitmer stressed that those in the government are all working towards the same goal of a better Michigan.
As expected, the Governor preached many of her campaign promises and slogans, most notably "Fix the Damn Roads." She spoke of comprehensive reform, not just patching up problems. With respect to education, she proposed policy to help students graduate college debt free. For community college, she wants free 2 year programs, while students who attend 4 year universities would receive 2 years of financial assistance as well. It wouldn't just be for those graduating high school, however. Her proposed plan would also allow for those already in the workforce to get their associates degree.
Democratic lawmakers seemed to be very happy with the new Governor's first State of the State address.
23rd District State Senator Curtis Hertel Jr. said that, "I think the governor did a fantastic job. She laid out the problems we have to solve here in the State of Michigan, and a willingness to reach across the isle to get things done."
The same sentiment was echoed by other Democratic Legislators as 4th District State Representative Isaac Robinson added that, "we have to work together to get things done. That's the simple math of the situation."
Republican lawmakers were skeptical about the possibility of cooperation, as 84th District State Representative Phil Green said, "the Governor cannot tell the legislator what to do and then expect the legislator to be bipartisan."
The recent Executive Order that Governor Whitmer wrote was vetoed by congress, thus creating this rift we see now.
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