Governor Gretchen Whitmer hit her first roadblock, as we reported on WKHM, when the Republican House voted against her directive aimed at protecting Michigan’s environment.
The directive failed in the house 58-51. As Tim Skubic reports, the Governor was displeased. Meanwhile, in the Senate, Majority Leader Mike Shirkey has opted to take a route of dialog with Governor Whitmer in hopes of making some changes to her directive before taking her directive to a vote.
Also on WKHM, Governor Whitmer talked about Michigan’s water issues. “On Monday I signed a couple of executive orders and executive directive, because as I got around the state the last 2 years, I know how fearful people are of the quality of their drinking water. Whether you’re in Adrian right now, or in Flint, or you’re in Kent County, or in Parchment, Michigan, the quality of our drinking water is something that’s…you cannot live without clean drinking water.” Whitmer said it goes beyond resident fear, saying “We’ve got a crisis on our hands.” Her first attempt, as previously mentioned to reorganize government and place a focus on environmental issues failed to make it through the house, something that Whitmer was very confused on. “It just boggles the mind that the Republican House would reject it when they come from constituencies that have PFAS crisis across our state.”
In her upcoming State of the State address, the Governor said that she would spend some time discussing the position she’s put in after a massive spending round on the previous legislature’s final day of session. “I think that’s a part of what I want to make sure I talk about on Tuesday is the reality of what I’m walking into,” Whitmer said. “The last administration has a lot of lawsuits against them for actions they took. I’m going to have to be the one who gets stuck with the bill, so I’m going to have to cover their legal bill, in addition to trying to make sure we fix the roads and clean up water when the last administration spent $1.3 billion dollars on their last day of session.”
She’ll also talk about a campaign promise to fix the damn roads, which was coined through many conversations.“It actually was inspired by a lot of conversations I had with people over the last few years because that’s how we all talk about our roads.” Whitmer said. Following the State of the State is the budget in a few weeks. Whitmer’s plan is to go back to basics. “We’re going to have a lot of focus on the fundamentals, that people across the state are worried about and experiencing. Whether its cleaning up our drinking water, to fixing the damn roads, to ensuring our kids are getting the education they need, and every one of us has a path to skills that lead into a good paying job.”
New MDOT Director Paul Ajegba told a Senate Committee this week that lack of investment has hurt Michigan infrastructure. “I think it starts with everybody recognizing that the resources we have right now are not meeting our needs. We have more needs than we have resources.” Ajbega said. “Michigan is ranked 46th out of the 50 states, we are ranked last in the Great Lakes states investment in roads per capita.”