Whitmer touts more than 750 bipartisan bills signed into law

click to enlarge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. - State of Michigan
State of Michigan
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is running for reelection. Not that there was really ever any doubt, but Whitmer confirmed it in a post on social media on Monday.

"I'm Gretchen Whitmer — a proud mom, lifelong Michigander, and hardworking governor," Whitmer wrote on Twitter on Monday. "I'm running for re-election in a swing state where special interests are pouring millions to unseat me."

She added, "There's so much at stake in this race, but I'm ready to fight back."

In a separate statement, the Democrat touted the milestone of signing more than 750 bills into law, with support from Michigan's Republican-led legislature.

"When I ran for governor, the Mackinac Bridge served as a symbol for the campaign to highlight my commitment to building bridges between Democrats and Republicans," Whitmer said. "Since then, 100% of the bills I've signed into law have been bipartisan, and I'm proud to reach this milestone of over 750 bipartisan bills signed into law."

The legislation includes the largest education investment in state history to close the funding gap between schools in Michigan and expand access to preschool programs for 22,000 children. Whitmer also signed legislation to reform Michigan's auto insurance system to guarantee lower rates for drivers, earning praise at the time from Senate majority leader Mike Shirkey.

Whitmer's office also boasts that it has helped create more than 20,000 auto jobs, including a new Jeep plant, the first Detroit plant in 30 years. Additionally, Whitmer also worked with General Motors CEO Mary Barra on a $7 billion investment that includes $4 billion to convert GM's Orion Township assembly plant for the production of electric vehicles, as well as $2.5 billion to build a battery cell plant in Lansing.

During the pandemic, Whitmer also rolled out a first-of-its-kind Futures for Frotnliners program modeled on the G.I. Bill to provide tuition-free community college for essential workers, as well as the Michigan Reconnect Grant Program, which aims to help more than 4.1 million Michiganders without a college degree to earn a tuition-free associate degree or skills certificate.

And then there was her 2018 campaign pledge to "fix the damn roads." On that front, her office boasts that it has repaired, rebuilt, or replaced more than 10,000 lane miles of road and more than 900 bridges, supporting nearly 82,000 jobs.

"In the last three years, we worked together to close the funding gap to ensure equality in education, lowered the cost of auto insurance to save Michiganders hundreds of dollars, secured the largest investment in education for three years in a row without raising taxes, fixed a record 13,198 lane miles of roads and 903 bridges, secured the largest investment in Michigan in GM’s history and [added] 220,000 jobs to our state’s economy last year," Whitmer said.

Whitmer added that she plans to work with the legislature to roll back the retirement tax, which she says would save about half a million households an average of $1,000 per year.

"We're working together to make a real impact for Michiganders and their families, and I'm proud to always put them first," she said. "At over 750 bipartisan bills, I'm just getting started and I'll always work with anyone who wants to get things done for Michigan."

Despite protests against her pandemic repsonse and even an FBI-thwarted kidnapping plot led by right-wing militia members, Whitmer is popular, according to recent polling compiled by FiveThirtyEight that compares her to Republican opponents.

Her campaign raised more than $10 million last year, more than any gubernatorial candidate has ever raised in an off-election year. Her coffers also dwarf the funds raised by anyone in the crowded field of Republican challengers, where none has emerged as a clear frontrunner yet.

Businessman Kevin Rinke leads the pack in funding with $2 million of his own money. Other challengers include former Detroit police chief James Craig, businessman Perry Johnson, Michigan State Police Capt. Mike Brown, and former conservative online news host Tudor Dixon, among others.

Whitmer's campaign said its average contribution is under $200.

Michigan's gubernatorial race takes place on Nov. 8, 2022.

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland “Lee” DeVito is the editor in chief of Detroit Metro Times since 2016. His writing has also been published in CREEM, VICE, In These Times, and New City. He once asked porn star Stormy Daniels to spank him with an issue of Metro Times. She obliged.

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