This evening, before a joint convention of the Michigan Senate and House of Representatives, Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her sixth State of the State address. The governor highlighted some of the accomplishments during the past year, including rolling back the retirement tax on seniors and quintupling the working families tax credit, in addition to codifying portions of the Federal Affordable Care Act into state law.
Shifting into the problems that continue to face residents, Governor Whitmer began talking about the high costs felt across the board. She proposes focusing on lowering the costs of housing, childcare, transportation, education, utilities, and food. One of the proposals for lower costs was first proposed a few weeks ago. The Michigan Vehicle Rebate plan provides rebates from $1,000 – $2,500 for consumers purchasing new vehicles.
Next up was housing. Not only are housing costs exuberant for residents but there is a lack of inventory. To tackle this problem, Governor Whitmer is proposing an investment of nearly $1.4 billion to help the state build or refurbish 75,000 housing units within five years. As an additional step to help lower costs for some families, the governor is proposing a $5,000 tax credit for those caring for children with long-term needs and aging senior relatives.
On the education front, Governor Whitmer is calling for an expansion to the free Pre-K program and two years of tuition-free community college to be included in the next state budget.
In keeping with previous years, the governor addressed the poor state of infrastructure in Michigan. She’s calling for the Department of Transportation to authorize the final $700 million of the Rebuilding Michigan Plan to continue to build and repair roads and bridges statewide.
Lastly, Governor Whitmer talked about what she calls “Making it in Michigan.” She’s calling for Michigan to upgrade its economic development toolkit. This includes an R&D tax credit, a program to lower overall payroll taxes from some firms and establishing an Innovation Fund to invest in high-growth startups.
For more information, please visit Michigan.gov/StateOfTheState.