Governor Gretchen Whitmer said a lot in her State of the State Address Wednesday night, touching on many of her plans for the next year. But there was also a lot not said.
“Tonight I’ve laid out my plans,” said Whitmer in the closing moments of her speech.
The State of the State is a chance for the Governor to have Michigan’s undivided attention and lay out her agenda.
“She talked about increasing prevailing wage, she talked about cutting taxes to put more money back in your pocket, she talked about electric vehicle refunds,” explained John Sellek, of Harbor Strategic Public Affairs. “She talked about lowering drug prices.”
“I want every person in Michigan to have access to the healthcare they deserve,” said Whitmer.
All of these are issues both sides can agree on.
“I would say it was a a safe speech,” said Rep. Jack O’Malley, Republican from Lake Ann. “Which I don’t knock her for because it’s an election year. Why throw anything out there that somebody could jump on or pounce on?”
We know that’s not everything facing the state right now and some of those other topics, she avoided altogether.
“Things she didn’t talk about? She sure didn’t spend any time talk about mask mandates or COVID itself,” said Sellek.
It’s an election year, and Sellek said it historically may be a bad year for Democrats. Whitmer would be smart to separate from that.
“She didn’t spend any time talking about Joe Biden,” said Sellek. “ She didn’t say his name at all.”
There were some issues she lightly touched on to say she did but not actually jump on, like in-person schooling.
“She said, ‘Hey I hear you, schools should be open,’ but she didn’t say a school‘s must be open,” said Sellek. “She doesn’t have that control but she only touched on the issue without actually using her bully pulpit.”
Whether it be what she said or didn’t say, in the end, voters will react to what is done.
“As always,” Whitmer said in conclusion, “I’ll work with anyone to deliver on these kitchen table issues.”