Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, of Levering, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, of Clarklake, today announced the top issues they and their Republican caucus members hope to see included by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her State of the State address. The issues represent shared priorities both leaders believe are essential to Michigan’s continued comeback.
“Making Michigan the best home for families, talent, and jobs is the driving force behind the priorities identified by our caucus. The Governor has an opportunity to embrace that shared vision and work with the legislature to improve our state,” said Shirkey. “Our goal is for Michigan to continue on its growth trajectory and for us to see more investment in our state to the benefit of all citizens.”
“Our shared legislative priorities represent ample opportunity to craft bipartisan solutions. Reducing the cost of car insurance is not a goal exclusive to Republicans or Democrats, it’s a problem all Michiganders want us to fix. Building a better infrastructure plan has nothing to do with who you voted for in the last election, it’s about continual improvement so that Michigan is an attractive option for capital investment,” said Shirkey. “Our caucus is eager to partner with our colleagues in the House and the Governor to deliver solutions for Michigan.”
The shared priorities House and Senate Republicans expect to see highlighted in the address include the following:
- Lowering the nation’s highest auto insurance rates for Michigan families
- Fixing Michigan’s infrastructure
- Protect and enhance the current funding to fix Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges
- Ensure every student has access to clean drinking water in school
- Support the Straits tunnel to secure energy and heat for Michigan families
- Making government work for everyone in Michigan
- Continue recent progress with criminal justice reforms
- Fix the state’s broken mental health system
- Improve government accountability and predictability
- Supporting education and career readiness
- Give students options to design a career path that works for them
- Give teachers strong funding and time to teach
- Give parents more choice and greater control over their child’s future
“Focusing on these important topics would show Gov. Whitmer is on the right path and working on the right issues to begin her term,” said Chatfield. “These priorities represent some of the items legislators hear about most often talking to people in their local communities and the most common causes for concern when people reach out to the Legislature for help. They are also some of the biggest areas where a commitment from the governor to strong reforms can make a real difference in the lives of Michigan residents.
“But these are not just the most pressing issues facing Michigan families; they are also common-sense, bipartisan reforms on which we can all agree. We have discussed policy priorities with our colleagues, and we can say with certainty that bringing these critical matters to the forefront will give the governor a leg up in finding common ground with the Legislature and a head start in delivering results for the people we represent.”
Gov. Whitmer will present her first State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature on Tuesday night. Speaker Chatfield and Majority Leader Shirkey will be available to the media Wednesday morning to discuss the governor’s plans and answer questions about how well her remarks addressed the state’s top issues.