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From our State Capitol in Lansing to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC, WKAR is committed to explaining how the actions of lawmakers are affecting Michiganders. Political and government reporter Abigail Censky leads this section. There are also stories from Capitol correspondents Cheyna Roth, Rick Pluta and the Associated Press. As the 2020 presidential race begins, look here for reports on the role Michigan will play in electing or re-electing the president.

Gov. Whitmer: New Detroit Auto Plant In 30 Years Is Good News For Entire State

Fiat Chrysler
Twitter/City of Detroit

UPDATED Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.: Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the entire state of Michigan notched a win with Fiat-Chrysler’s decision to build the first new auto plant in Detroit in almost three decades. A state board approved a generous incentive package for the project.

The deal hinged on a generous incentive package that was approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund. 

Governor Whitmer says the project shows Michigan is still a major player in the auto business.

“It is fitting the state that put the world on wheels, it is where we will build the cars of the future," said Gov. Whitmer. 

Whitmer said the new plant means jobs for 5 thousand new jobs, as well as a “spin-off” effect that will create more work for auto suppliers across the state.

She also said that means even more jobs for workers who have the skills that will be needed.

Gov. Whitmer said that will also mean more tax revenue to help fulfill her campaign promise to fix the roads.

UPDATED Tuesday at 6:00 p.m.: Fiat Chrysler can move forward with plans to build a new, $1.6 million assembly plant on Detroit's eastside and invest $900 million to retool and modernize another.

The Detroit City Council on Tuesday approved land deals and community benefits agreements tied to the project. They include a four-week exclusive window Detroit residents will have to apply for jobs at the facilities once laid-off workers and temporary employees are considered.

Fiat Chrysler expects to add 4,950 new jobs — mostly on the assembly line.

The company is getting tax breaks and 215 acres (87 hectares) of adjacent land the city had to acquire. The land deals are about $108 million, with Detroit and the state splitting it about equally.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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