Gov. Whitmer Focused on Prosperity and People in Vision for 21st Century MichiganJune 2, 2022
- Divided government does not have to mean dysfunctional government. Bipartisanship is happening in Michigan.
- Through leading innovation in electrification, “Michigan can become the epicenter of innovation.”
- The “final, essential goal” for 21st Century Michigan is to create great quality of life and maintain a good, middle-class cost of living.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer opened her 2022 Mackinac Policy Conference keynote address with a call for unity and civility and her vision for the future of 21st Century Michigan focused on prosperity, place, and people.
“To move our state forward, we must heal that divide by sitting down at tables with people who disagree with us. We must put our collective success first and do the hard work of being uncomfortable because that is the way to get things done—side by side,” said Whitmer.
21st Century Michigan
The Governor’s address focused on what’s ahead for Michigan through the remainder of the 21st century. Reflecting on the few months since the 2021 Conference, she touted a growing economy, her third balanced and bipartisan budget, the largest-ever one-time deposit into the state’s rainy day fund, and made the largest investment ever in child care.
Whitmer also shared testimonies of success with the Michigan Reconnect education program, examples of business attraction and new investment in the state – including a $7 billion investment from General Motors, and the passage of a bipartisan economic development package.
Building Michigan Together Plan
Another highlight of the address was an update on the Building Michigan Together Plan, which is intended to support extensive infrastructure improvements across the state through road and bridge updates as well as expanded broadband access.
What’s Next for Michigan
In the spirit of bipartisanship and collaboration, the Governor shared the imperative to pass the state budget – on-time, balanced, and invested in “kitchen-table issues.” Education continues to be a top priority for the Governor’s proposed budget.
“But the core of my budget is top of mind for all parents here today—myself included—education. Every parent wants to help their children catch-up and get on track for long-term success,” said Whitmer. “Every employer knows today’s students are tomorrow’s workforce. And every educator wants to help their students thrive. We all recognize that when our kids excel in school, Michigan succeeds.”
Whitmer also shared her intention to help small businesses succeed on the heels of recent small business growth.
“In 2021, an average of over 12,500 businesses were formed every month. That’s up 60% compared to 2018 and 77% compared to 2017,” she said. “The trend continues into 2022, with an average of 11,000 businesses a month this year.”
Sharing her vision for the rest of the century, Whitmer outlined her ambitions for the state in three pillars: prosperity, place, and people.
Through leading innovation in electrification, “Michigan can become the epicenter of innovation,” according to the Governor.
To make Michigan a beautiful, safe place to live, the Governor proposed, “In the 21st century, Michigan will go to the mat for our Great Lakes. We are home to 21% of the world’s fresh surface water and the envy of every other state. We will protect them and remain a bastion of bountiful natural resources especially as climate change continues impacting the global supply of clean drinking water.”
Finally, reflecting on how Michigan’s 20th Century leadership was rooted in the ability to attract and retain families from across the country.
“In the 21st century, that must be our final, essential goal: create a great quality of life and maintain a good, middle-class cost of living,” she shared.