Cadillac Hosts 42nd Annual Governor’s Breakfast
For the 42nd straight year, Cadillac welcomes the Governor to town for the annual Governor’s Breakfast.
This was Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s first time visiting for the event. More than 700 people packed the Wexford Civic Center with almost half local students.
When Whitmer was transitioning into office, former Governor Rick Snyder gave her a handful of events she must put in her calendar.
“The Governor’s Breakfast here in Cadillac was one of them,” says Whitmer, “It’s a great opportunity for the students and a chance for the Governor to stay connected to people who have important voices that need to be heard.”
This year’s key note speech was focused on Whitmer’s budget proposal. She dove into what it means for Northern Michigan schools, communities and of course roads.
“Our roads are having an impact on our tourism,” she says, “They are having an impact on investment.”
Road funding is a big piece of her first budget, including a 45 cent gas tax hike to raise the money needed to keep up.
“When people see the magnitude of it, they understand what I’m trying to do,” says Whitmer, “It doesn’t mean people would love it but they respect the fact that this is actually a solution, when so often from politicians we hear talking points and not real solutions.”
“You look at areas where you work together,” says US Congressman John Moolenaar, “There are some areas where you will have stark differences and that’s what the debate is about in politics.”
As with any tax increase or request for funding, many in attendance were wary these tax hikes would work as expected. Whitmer says for once, they are.
“When you raise the dollars at the pump, they are constitutionally protected to go to the roads,” says Whitmer, “No future legislator can come in and move them around and spend them elsewhere. They will actually go to the roads.”
If the budget passes, the Governor says work on roads could begin immediately in the new fiscal year.
“I’ve got a few months to work with the legislature to get this done,” Whitmer says.