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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Budget Priorities: Infrastructure, Education, And Talent

At the 2019 Detroit Policy Conference, Michigan’s newly elected leader, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, gave a sneak peek of Michigan’s future under her leadership during a conversation with 2019 Conference Chair Dennis W. Archer Jr.

Her full budget proposal will be released on Tuesday, March 5 and she said it will focus on three priorities: improving the state’s crumbling infrastructure, education, and attracting and retaining talent.

Whitmer explained that these issues build on one another. Improved infrastructure leads to better transportation, which attracts talent from across the nation. Improving our education system creates more qualified talent to fill job openings. These issues are truly at the core of what the state needs to succeed.

“We are capable of making change in Michigan,” said Whitmer. “I chose to focus on all of these issues because they are non-binary. No one party or the other has all the solutions, but we all know these are issues that must be addressed.”

After discussing her budget, the conversation moved to how Whitmer will emphasize diversity and inclusion in her cabinet. She emphasized the needs for ethnic and gender diversity, but also officials who are intentional, swift, and thoughtful forward-thinkers and problem-solvers.

To close out their discussion, Archer asked Whitmer what her vision of Detroit 2030 looks like.

“By 2030, all Detroiters will have a real pathway to prosperity, and that pathway is not necessarily linear.” Said Whitmer. She cited professional certificates, community college degrees, and skilled trade jobs as legitimate ways for Detroiters to achieve their goals.

“We are all Michiganders,” Whitmer said. “When Detroiters succeed, we all succeed.”

This session was sponsored by MotorCity Casino Hotel.