Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican leaders at the state Capitol have struck a deal on auto no-fault.
They promise it will reduce Michigan’s auto insurance rates, which are the highest in the nation.
As part of the weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher explain that the deal isn’t going over well with some members of Whitmer’s own party.
Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.
Before the legislation came up for votes in the Legislature, a number of Democrats took to Twitter to express their feelings about the deal.
State Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-Ann Arbor) expressed frustration that the deal didn’t deliver on more of Democrats’ priorities for an auto no-fault overhaul.
I am deeply disappointed. This “deal” on no-fault will hurt people, not result real rate reduction and still allows for discrimination. Why can’t we get this right?— Yousef Rabhi (@RepRabhi) May 24, 2019
State Rep. Isaac Robinson (D-Detroit) had harsh words for Whitmer on Friday afternoon after news of the deal broke.
State Rep. Isaac Robinson (D-Detroit) on auto insurance deal: “Governor Whitmer went to bat for corporate special interests.”— Zach Gorchow (@ZachGorchow) May 24, 2019
State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) suggested she might even break away from the Democratic party over the deal.
I will mark this as The Day I Became an Independent!— Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (@DetroitEducator) May 24, 2019
But at least some Democrats expressed support for the package, including state Rep. Kevin Hertel (D-St. Clair Shores).
Today’s auto insurance reform vote offers a compromise that directly reduces rates, removes discriminatory non-driving factors, and helps reduce fraud and waste in the system. I’m glad we are able to take steps in the direction Michiganders have been asking for for years.— Kevin Hertel (@RepHertel) May 24, 2019
This apparent rift forming among Democrats at the state Capitol begs questions about their ability to stay unified on other major issues moving forward. They still face Republican majorities in the state House and Senate. And any deals on road funding or the upcoming state budget will likely require Democratic votes in the Legislature.
Whitmer has decided to spend some serious political capital on this issue. How much will it cost her? That’s a question that we might be answering well into her tenure as governor.