On Tuesday evening, Governor Gretchen Whitmer will have an important moment in the Spotlight. Michigan’s 49th Chief Executive Officer will deliver her first State of the State Address. It’s an opportunity to outline her priorities for this year and speak directly to Michiganders.
She is now the leader of Michigan’s politically divided government and the entire state, those who elected her and those who didn’t. Whitmer will have a full plate but we hope her top goals include improving infrastructure, education, jobs, political civility and government transparency.
Governor Whitmer campaigned on these four words:
“Fix the damn roads.”
So now, layout a bi-partisan plan and how you’re going to pay for it. It needs to be a long-term solution, not a quick fix with trick mirrors.
A recent Michigan State University report found that Michigan ranks dead last in the U.S. in funding growth for public education. That’s an embarrassment that over time will chip away at the foundation of a strong and talented Michigan workforce.
To get anything significant done, Whitmer will have to negotiate and compromise with Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Be a relentless leader of political civility and non-partisan solutions that benefit this state.
Equally important, be a champion of transparency in government. Expand the Freedom of Information Act to include the governor’s office and the legislature. On the campaign trail you said:
“We are just one of two states that does not already do this. If the legislature won’t act, I will use the governor’s authority…to extend FOIA to the Lieutenant Governor and Governor’s Offices. Michiganders should know when and what their governor is working on.”