Gretchen Whitmer Tells Mackinac Crowd State Needs To Focus On Fundamentals

Those are improving the roads, education, and the water.

May 29, 2019 - 3:46 pm

(WWJ) Governor Gretchen Whitmer came into her opening remarks at the Mackinac Policy Conference riding the wave of bi-partisanship support on no-fault auto insurance reform. 

With that under her belt, Whitmer told the gathered crowd of political and business heavy hitters on Michigan's scenic car-free island the state now needs to work on the fundamentals.

Those are improving the roads, education, and the water.

Whitmer says the legislature's recent work on no fault auto insurance reform should give them a basis to work with her on things like closing the skills gap for workers, improving schools and cleaning up Michigan's water resources. 

She drove home the point of making things better for the next generation with an anecdote about 1,900 letters she received from Michigan second graders just before she took office.

"Were you worried about the roads as a second grader in Michigan? Did you think for a second that the water might not be safe coming out of the tap? Did you wonder what path you might be able to afford to get into the skills that were going to be your passion or how you would take care of your family?" she asked.   

She says if the legislature does its job it doesn't matter where you live across the Mitten or the Upper Peninsula because "every one of us gets ahead."  

"Please, let's turn the talk that happens at this wonderful event into action this year," Whitmer said. Mackinac is long-considered a place where many words are spoken, but little actually gets done. Whitmer said she wants to change that.

For all the politicians in the room she invoked a previous governor in her call for bi-partisanship, saying in 2005 she saw former Governor Bill Milliken speak at the conference and was taken by his remarks on the topic. 

"I was the only legislator in attendance during that talk and what a missed opportunity that was, for my colleagues to hear a former leader who was known for problem solving and being tough, but also for being reasonable for being someone who could work with anyone," she said.

 The Mackinac Policy Conference wraps up on Friday.