MIDLAND, Mich. — In the opening for her State of the State remarks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer highlighted several bipartisan accomplishments, including two that were supported by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. While auto insurance reforms and Clean Slate Legislation ultimately limited government’s role, every new idea the governor proposed in her speech furthered government expansion.
In the address, Gov. Whitmer offered nine government expansions and zero limitations. The Mackinac Center has tallied the expansions and limitations in the State of the State addresses for the previous five governors. Gov. Whitmer spent most of tonight’s address reflecting on the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unfortunately, some of the governor’s solutions, such as bringing back select incentive programs like Good Jobs for Michigan, won’t help public health or the economy.
“The government is throttling small businesses across the state," said Michael LaFaive, senior director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center. "Asking them to pay more, especially right now, so that a few large corporations can pay less is regrettable. Good Jobs for Michigan and other taxpayer subsidies are expensive, unfair and ineffective.”
The following expansions were proposed in the address:
Implementing regulatory changes recommended by the prescription drug task force
Permanently extending unemployment benefits
Providing extra resources for some small businesses
Passing the MI COVID Recovery Plan
Funding academic recovery, school infrastructure, and support for students
Permanently raise wages for home health care workers by $2 an hour
Resurrecting the Good Jobs for Michigan program
Creating new ways for local governments to raise taxes for roads
Spending more on Michigan’s water infrastructure
You can view the tally of past expansions and limitations by gubernatorial administrations since 1969 here.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government. Through our research and education programs, we challenge government overreach and advocate for a free-market approach to public policy that frees people to realize their potential and dreams.
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