Gov. Whitmer On First Six Months: Legislature Took a Break “Before the Work was Done”

Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer discuss issues she’s worked on in the first half of her first year in office.

Jake Neher/WDET

The first half of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s first year in office has passed, and there’s been a lot of things that have come up, including that 45 cent gas tax, reforming auto insurance and more. Host Stephen Henderson talks with Whitmer about the budget, working with the Legislature, negotiations with Enbridge on Line 5, auto no-fault and what she plans on tackling next. 

As far as the failure to get a budget approved before the Legislature recessed for summer vacation, the governor says, “unfortunately [the Legislature] chose to take [a break] before the work was done and I continue to push to ensure that we get a real solution that fixes our roads and also puts us in a position to clean up drinking water across Michigan and closes the skills gap.”

  • 45 cent gas tax, Whitmer says she’s “given the budget presentation across the state many times and people when they see that when we fund the roads at the gas pump all those dollars that have been stolen from our kids’ schools, all those dollars that should be going into cleaning up drinking water, that have been diverted to fill potholes can get back into the general fund and the school aid fund.”

    She says that while people tend to focus on that one point — the controversial 45 cent gas tax — “the reality is when people see how we can fix all of these issues just by getting infrastructure out of the general fund, they support it.”

  • Line 5: “The thing I am most concerned about is getting it out of the water at the earliest possible moment… Right now, we are in court. I do think we could have a decision this Fall on the first issue, which is the validity of the contract from the end of last year and I do think that’s going to determine where we head unless Enbridge wants to get back to the table and I have not seen signs of that.”
  • Auto reform: “I believe that the prohibition on rate-making and considering things like education level, zip code or marital status are protections against discrimination that are really going to give people some relief and the mandated rollbacks.”

Click on the audio player above to hear host Stephen Henderson interview Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.


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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.