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Whitmer: lame duck 'unproductive;' looking forward to Dem majorities in 2023

Reginald Hardwick

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she expects the new Democratic Legislature will pick up a lot of business in January that was left undone in the lame duck session.

Whitmer – a Democrat – said Republican leaders adjourned for the year, wrapping up a post-election session that she calls “unproductive” and signaled vetoes will be coming.

“They passed some things that were not negotiated, so you can anticipate what the fate is going to be of those items and I’ll just stay focused on working with the new Democratic majorities in the House and Senate,” she said.

Whitmer said her to-do list includes moving up Michigan’s presidential primary and adopting a business incentives package. Republican leaders warn those new Democratic majorities will be slim and Whitmer’s still going to have to bargain to get things done in 2023.

Whitmer said she hopes one early priority will be moving the state’s presidential primary to the earliest cluster of states. She says Michigan is a diverse battleground state.

“It has never made a whole lot of sense to me that Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina would winnow the field before a state as representative as this one has an opportunity to weigh in,” she said.

She said giving Michigan more influence in the nomination process earlier would benefit Republicans as well as Democrats. Moving Michigan’s March presidential primary would require changing state law.

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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