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Whitmer pitches plans ahead of State of the State speech

Michigan Executive Office of the Governor
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer delivers the 2022 State of the State speech remotely on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivers her fifth State of the State address Wednesday night.

But she’s already on the road to drum up support for her plans for 2023 with stops Tuesday in Lansing and Brighton.

Her plans include officially repealing Michigan’s dormant abortion ban even though it’s abrogated by a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution. She wants tougher gun laws, including universal background checks.

And she will call for expanding the state civil rights law to include LGBTQ protections.

“I want to get that done,” she said in Brighton. “I think it’s important for our economy. It’s important for Michiganders and our future.”

Whitmer can do that with the support of new Democratic majorities in the Legislature. But those House and Senate majorities are slim, and she says a lot of plans will require bipartisan support to get done.

“It will still be very important that we try to find as much bipartisan common ground as we can,” she said. “The Democrats control both the House and Senate, but only by two votes in each chamber.”

Those slim majorities could complicate deal-making with Republicans looking to force Democrats into making concessions and with an eye toward picking up seats in special elections to fill vacancies.

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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