Mackinac Policy Conference 2021: Gilchrist Defends Controversial Auto Insurance Law, But Says It Needs Changes

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist weighs in on auto insurance reform and other issues including regional transit and infrastructure.

Two years ago, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed the auto no-fault reform bill into law on the steps outside the Grand Hotel during the Mackinac Policy Conference. 

Critics of the law are saying it hasn’t worked, that costs haven’t gone down enough to make auto insurance affordable and that people are losing out on critical care, because the law has driven down reimbursement rates. 

Michigan’s Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist says there is more work to be done. 

Listen: Lt. Gov. Gilchrist on regional transit, infrastructure and juvenile justice.


Garlin Gilchrist is Michigan’s Lieutenant Governor. In reflecting on what has transpired regarding auto insurance reform since then, Gilchrist says, “it’s important to recognize there is still work to be done, we have seen costs go down and we want them to continue to go down.” In noting the need for substantial reform and valid criticism of the changes to auto insurance law in recent years, Gilchrist says “we’ve seen deep concern expressed from folks who have gotten long-term catastrophic care … while there’s been a temporary thing in place I don’t think it’s adequate. I hope the legislative leaders will come back to the table and work with us,” says Gilchrist.

Gilchrist also discusses the urgent need for improvements to regional transit for Michiganders. “As a state we know it’s critical to our economic success and potential …[having] public transit that’s safe, affordable and reliable … you’ll see dollars to invest in buses, route expansion and to make affordability a priority,” says Gilchrist in looking ahead to budget plans that include investment in regional transit.

He addresses the need for infrastructure improvements to meet the needs of extreme weather events brought on by climate change. “When you combine that our infrastructure has been underinvested longer than I’ve been alive and then climate change leading us to have more extreme weather events … coupling these things together is what is leading to catastrophe,” says Gilchrist, who adds “climate change is real and environmental justice is real.”

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