Governor Whitmer Unveils First Budget Proposal

The plan is now laid out. Governor Gretchen Whitmer unveiled her first budget proposal Tuesday morning.

“My campaign promise was to fix the damn roads,” says Whitmer, “And this plan does that.”

The governor’s plan comes in at $60.2 billion, up 3.6 percent over last year.

The additions include $2.5 billion for roads, money for clean water and more than half a billion for schools.

“I’ve put an honest solution on the table and if someone’s got another one that gets us to that spend level then I’m interested with working with them,” says Whitmer.

With her new budget proposal she says the state can fix the roads, save education and clean up drinking water while increasing transparency.

“We’re moving money around from one fund to another, this is part of the reason the public is suspicious,” says Whitmer, “Suspect that dollars go where they’re supposed to.”

For some people, it’s what wasn’t in it that the most worried about.

“For a lot of the constituents that I’m hearing from on a regular basis, the number one issue is auto no-fault insurance and we didn’t hear anything in regards to that,” says Representative Triston Cole of Mancelona.

Skills gap funding was covered, as was child care. Local government support was increased as was public safety. But it will cost more, we see that in the proposed 45 cent gas tax hike.

“As we go through the day,” says Cole, “This is a nonstarter therefore the votes are not there.”

To stay on schedule, they have to June to find the votes or to find a common ground and a balanced budget.

“This isn’t easy. This isn’t fun.” says Whitmer, “No one likes having to propose this but this is 40 years of disinvestment in the state of Michigan that is coming due.”