Michigan Economy and COVID-19 Response ‘Completely Nested’, Says Whitmer Before State of State Speech


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to spend a significant portion of her State of the State address on Wednesday night talking about her plans to help Michigan’s economic recovery, but she can’t do so without also addressing the efforts of the state. ‘State to contain COVID-19.

“I mean, they’re completely related,” Whitmer said in an interview Tuesday with MLive.

“… You cannot solve the economic crisis without solving the health crisis and the recovery plan must therefore have a strategy on both fronts. And I think that’s why this moment and this stimulus package is so important, and it’s also why I hope we can find some common ground, and that transcends the usual partisan arguments, ”said Whitmer.

Last week, Whitmer unveiled a plan that would send $ 5.6 billion in mostly federal money to COVID-19 and economic recovery efforts in Michigan. These are things she will address again in her speech.

Related: Whitmer unveils $ 5.6 billion plan to fund coronavirus response and economic recovery

It will add to that a “Michigan back to work” program, which will include initiatives to protect and develop jobs in areas such as technology, mobility, manufacturing, clean energy and road construction. Whitmer expects to announce the initiative within the next year.

“So I think we’re going to focus on the need to make sure we’re working across state government to keep, grow, create jobs in Michigan. It’s going to be an effort of all hands on deck, ”said Whitmer.

The state government will work with the private sector and local governments on economic development initiatives, which Whitmer hopes will lead to different types of investments in Michigan.

Whitmer said his team had done a lot of ‘amazing’ things in his first year in office, 2019, and that 2020 had been ‘consumed by COVID’. In 2021, “We want to get back to work to really move our economy forward and create good paying jobs here in Michigan,” she said.

Economists polled by MLive last week said the vaccine was a key part of the state’s economic recovery.

As Mitch Bean of Great Lakes Economic Consulting said, “What it takes to make this economy work is mainly getting shot.

Related: One thing Whitmer needs to address in the state of the state as of Wednesday? State of Michigan’s Economy.

Whitmer’s COVID-19 stimulus package includes the allocation of $ 90 million in federal spending to distribute vaccines. The money she proposed – which the legislature is expected to approve – would help local health departments procure additional staff, equipment and supplies.

Money aside, Whitmer has consistently requested more doses of the life-saving vaccine from the federal government. She was scheduled for a Tuesday afternoon call with the National Governors Association and the White House, and hoped to have some good news; The Washington Post reported a White House official was about to announce a 16% increase in vaccine doses going to states.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we could do 50,000 injections per day if we got the vaccines. So a 16% increase – and it will increase and it will increase – can really make a big difference, ”Whitmer said.

Here are other areas where Whitmer is proposing spending as part of its COVID-19 stimulus package:

– $ 225 million to small businesses for three new Michigan Economic Development Corporation programs

– $ 574.8 million for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing

– $ 660.9 million for emergency rental assistance

– $ 2 billion for additional food aid

– $ 1.66 billion for schools through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund

From the federal money that is already available Whitmer proposes to spend, from the federal government increasing the distribution of vaccines to the states to future aid packages to any future aid, Whitmer looks forward to a good working relationship with the White House.

“I think one of the real opportunities for us this year is a great relationship with the Biden White House and the entire federal government,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer has been asked to assist Biden in a variety of capacities, including serving as co-chair of the national campaign and a member of the inauguration committee.

His speech will be broadcast live here at 7 p.m. on Wednesday January 27. It’s taking place virtually this year, and Republican legislative leaders are expected to respond the next day.

More on MLive:

One thing Whitmer needs to address in the state of the state as of Wednesday? State of Michigan’s Economy.

Whitmer unveils $ 5.6 billion plan to fund coronavirus response and economic recovery

Read Whitmer’s $ 5.6 Billion Plan to Fund Coronavirus Recovery for Michigan Schools and Economy