Governor Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Capitol Building photo
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 / wikimedia.org

The state Senate today (Thu.) took steps toward restoring money to programs vetoed by Governor Gretchen Whitmer earlier this year. The budget bills are supposed to be approved by the House and the Senate and sent to the governor’s desk next week.

The Senate actions are a step toward restoring a working relationship between the Democratic governor and the Legislature’s Republican leaders following a contentious budget process. The standoff put money for autism services, charter schools and public safety at risk.

Doctor's coat
Pixabay | CC BY 2.0 / pixabay.com

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says delaying implementation of work requirements for enrollees in Michigan's Medicaid expansion program would prevent the state from potentially wasting at least $1 million.

The Democrat issued a special message to legislative leaders Tuesday, a day after saying the Republican-controlled Legislature should pause the rules taking effect in January.

Michigan Capitol Building photo
mi.gov

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is joining Democratic lawmakers to support a repeal of Michigan's abortion restrictions and regulations.

The legislation introduced Tuesday won't advance in the Republican-led Legislature. But the Democratic governor said it's important to advocate for the proposed Michigan Reproductive Health Act because residents "value a woman's right to choose."

The bills would repeal an unenforced 1931 law that bans virtually all abortions, remove a parental consent requirement and lift a 24-hour waiting period.

Gretchen Whitmer campaign photo
gretchenwhitmer.com

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is supporting autoworkers who are striking against General Motors.

The Democrat on Monday visited United Auto Workers members picketing outside the Lansing Grand River plant, blocks from the state Capitol building. Photos her office posted to social media showed her shaking hands and delivering doughnuts.

Spokeswoman Tiffany Brown says Whitmer is closely monitoring the strike and supports working peoples' rights to negotiate together for better wages, benefits, working conditions and more time to spend with their families.

Pension savings graphic
flickr.com

A recent state-wide poll indicates Michigan voters prefer any road funding budget not come at the expense of education and teacher retirement pensions.

As Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state legislature negotiate increasing road and bridge repair funding, a survey by Lansing-based EPIC-MRA indicates 77 percent of Michigan voters say it’s important teachers and their retirement pensions be protected from any budget deal.

picture of State Capitol
mi.gov

Republican legislative leaders have agreed to a budget framework and intend to begin passing bills despite not reaching a road-funding deal with Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

A spokeswoman for Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says target spending levels were sent to the leaders of budget panels Thursday. Details need to hashed out by conference committees that are expected to vote next week.

The budget deadline is Oct. 1.

Medicaid graphic
wikipedia

Medicaid insurance providers in Michigan cannot refuse benefits for sex reassignment surgeries and hormone replacement medications.

The governor’s office recently codified the antidiscrimination language into the state’s Medicaid Provider Manual. This is already state policy.

Erin Knott is the executive director of Equality Michigan. She says this is significant.

“I’m hopeful that this will just be one more step in the right direction as it relates to making our transgender friends and neighbors feel that they are an included part of our community and our society.”

U.S. flag at half staff photo
Wikimedia Commons

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags be lowered to honor the victims of the weekend mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

Whitmer said Sunday the flags should be displayed at half-staff on all state buildings, grounds and facilities until sunset on Thursday. She also encourages local governments, businesses, residents and others to do the same.

In all, 29 people were killed and about 50 injured in less than 24 hours.

Natural gas flame photo
tOrange.biz

Regulators say Michigan's energy supply and delivery systems are adequate to meet demand, but improvements should be made after extreme winter weather led to electric and natural gas emergencies.

The state Public Service Commission this week submitted an initial 247-page energy assessment to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who requested it after the Jan. 30-31 polar vortex.

car gasoline cap and money photo
flickr.com

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says discussions with the Republican-led Legislature on her fuel tax proposal can "start in earnest" now that she has signed a bipartisan auto insurance overhaul.

The Democrat said Thursday she wants a permanent road-funding plan done by the end of June, and the budget finished by the end of July.

She says she will continue pushing her 45-cents-a-gallon fuel tax increase because no alternative has been put on the table, but she is eager to talk about alternatives if they are presented.

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