Governor Gretchen Whitmer sat down with 9&10 News to reflect on the year that was and look forward to the upcoming years.
Not only will it be a new year, but a new term for Gov. Whitmer as she won re-election in November by a larger margin than she did in 2018.
The first term had its trials and Gov. Whitmer is hoping for a smoother back half as Michigan looks to grow.
No governor can expect their entire term to go exactly according to plan, and Gov. Whitmer’s did not. She had a pandemic, a flood, a tornado and a kidnapping plot against her, but she says she’s gotten through it and now she’s setting up for her second term. One where she’s going to have Democratic majority in both chambers of the legislature and now she feels like it’s time for her to take advantage and push forward on her agenda.
“That means staying focused on serving the people of Michigan,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Not on any one parties’ agenda but it’s about a Michigan agenda.”
Gov. Whitmer won re-election which means she gets a head start, a head start on a new term as her first term wraps up.
“We’re going to get a lot done. We’re going to move fast and I was disappointed the legislature decided not to get a whole lot done,” said Gov. Whitmer. “I think some of the representation about those last few days was not accurate, but I’m not going to dwell on any of that. We have a job to do and we are looking forward and will keep the momentum.”
Gov. Whitmer will be able to get a lot done quickly thanks to Democratic wins in the election. Her party now controls all aspects of state government. This gives her a clear lane to do what she wants.
“It’s hard to design a system where all 10 million people are happy with the agenda that comes out of Lansing but we’re going to do our very best to ensure that every person can see themselves reflected and have an opportunity for them and their families,” said Gov. Whitmer.
While she knows there will be a lot of things done that Democrats have been waiting to push for decades, she also acknowledges there’s a balance to help every Michigander.
“Whether it’s getting individualized tutors or it’s getting families tax credits so they can keep more money in their pocket or the retirement tax, these are things that we’ve already had conversations with the incoming legislative leaders,” said Gov. Whitmer.
For the past year, Gov. Whitmer has touted the great equalizer to be economic development, bringing in companies and keeping our own. Repeatedly, Gov. Whitmer came back to economic development during the interview, as both her biggest success of 2022 but her biggest goal for the next four years.
“We’ve had an announcement every month on economic development,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Meaning, landing good paying jobs and securing our leadership in the auto industry and bringing supply chains home.”
The plan is that with more jobs, comes more people. Which brings another issue looming in the new term, the housing crisis.
“There’s a lot more good work to do in this area. This is not a unique problem to Michigan. This is happening all across the country,” said Gov. Whitmer. “But this is a race and that’s why we have to win this race by building faster and in every community.”