Lansing, MI–On Jan. 25, 2023, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her 2023 State of the State address in front of a joint session of the Michigan Legislature. She laid out her plans to tackle the challenges Michiganders are facing right now, with proposals that will lower costs, make Michigan more competitive, expand opportunity, and protect people’s fundamental rights.
LOWERING MI COSTS
Governor Whitmer discussed the “Lowering MI Costs” plan which would repeal the retirement tax, boost the Working Families Tax Credit, and deliver pre-K for all so every child in Michigan gets a great start. Repealing the retirement tax would save 500,000 households an average of $1,000 a year. Boosting the Working Families Tax Credit would deliver a combined $3,000 refund to 700,000 working families, directly benefitting 45% of the kids in Michigan. Delivering pre-K for all would save families $10,000 a year and put all 110,000 4-year-olds in Michigan on a path to a brighter future. Together these proposals will save millions of Michiganders thousands of dollars and help us fight inflation head-on.
MAKE IT IN MICHIGAN
Governor Whitmer proposed the “Make it in Michigan” package, a sustainable funding source for Michigan’s bipartisan economic development fund to invest more in bringing new jobs for Michiganders. With this funding, Michigan can power economic development efforts year-round, move faster to compete for companies on the cutting-edge of manufacturing, and bring more supply chains home. Getting this done will create long-term economic opportunity in building cars, chips, and clean energy in our state and help ensure young people deciding where to start their lives choose Michigan.
Governor Whitmer is also calling for continued funding to expand access to higher education and skills-training. She called for continued funding for the Michigan Achievement Scholarship, which has lowered the cost of college by thousands of dollars a year, and apprenticeships and programs that have put nearly 200,000 Michiganders on a path to tuition-free higher education and skills-training. She also proposed lowering the age for Michigan Reconnect from 25 to 21, building on the more than 113,000 Michiganders that have been accepted into the program.
MI KIDS BACK ON TRACK
Governor Whitmer is calling on leaders on both sides of the aisle to expand on the MI Kids Back on Track plan that she introduced last year. The governor wants to make a record investment in tutoring by spring break so Michigan can offer every child more 1-on-1 time with a caring, qualified educator and more time to master the skills they need to succeed. This will offer students the support they need and help Michigan families keep more of their hard-earned money. MI Kids Back on Track will help our state’s economy grow long-term.
PUBLIC SAFETY & GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION
Governor Whitmer proposed an additional comprehensive investment in law enforcement including better training, oversight, and access to mental health resources to keep Michigan communities safe. To reduce gun violence, she is proposing commonsense reforms—universal background checks, safe storage laws, and extreme risk protection orders—so we can make sure guns are kept out of the hands of those who might represent a danger to themselves or others and stored safely at home. The governor is working to ensure Michiganders feel safe whether at home, work, or school.
PROTECTING FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS
As a part of her Make it in Michigan plan, Governor Whitmer is proposing legislative action that will attract new business and recruit and retain young talent. She proposed repealing Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban and other outdated laws restricting people’s ability to control their own bodies, shaming them for seeking reproductive health care, and restricting who they can marry. She is also calling for an expansion of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to include legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community. With these proposals, Michigan can build on its reputation as a welcoming beacon of opportunity where anyone can succeed.