Detroit Regional Chamber > Chamber > Gov. Whitmer at 2023 State of the State: Budgets Should Solve Problems, Lead With Values

Gov. Whitmer at 2023 State of the State: Budgets Should Solve Problems, Lead With Values

February 14, 2023

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she is “proud” of her $79.4 billion fiscal year 2024 budget proposal during her annual keynote address at the 2023 State of the State Address to the Business Community, hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber on Feb. 13 at MotorCity Casino Hotel.

The Governor highlighted several key business-related measures within her budget proposal, ranging from education opportunities to boosting the Working Families Tax Credit and more, many of which are Chamber and MICHauto priorities.

“I’m really proud of this budget. It lowers costs. It connects people with opportunity,” she said. “And best of all, it builds on the economic momentum that we have been able to move to create over these last few years.”

Whitmer credits this new budget’s possibilities and past successes to bipartisan “Team Michigan” efforts in Lansing, and various partnerships like those from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Chamber.

“We’ve gone from a front page story in Time a decade ago talking about the struggles to leading and becoming [one of] the world’s greatest places last year,” she said. “We’re building something special here in Michigan that people want to be a part of, and this doesn’t happen with one person or one entity. It happens when we work together.”

A “Multi-Generational” Budget

After her address, the Governor sat down with Daniel J. Loepp, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, to dive into the budget proposal from a business perspective. Loepp immediately noted the budget’s “multi-generational” theme of covering a variety of people and businesses across Michigan over a longer period of time.

Whitmer called the budget “a view of who we are” in Michigan and ensures Michigan’s competitiveness while acknowledging residents of all ages through these “age-friendly policies.”

“We do have a lot of people who are living their golden years here in Michigan and that’s a wonderful thing,” she said. “But we got to make sure that we’ve got these schools to support young families and policies that young people are looking for too.”

Our Strong Manufacturing Background Does Not Guarantee Future Business

The Governor also discussed Michigan’s manufacturing future, which includes becoming a battery hub for automotive, mobility, and other industries dependent on batteries. Whitmer stressed the importance of being in that winning mindset to get new businesses from out-of-state competition, saying we can’t solely depend on our strong manufacturing past anymore.

“Despite our rich history in mobility, we don’t have a lock on the future anymore. I see what other states are offering,” she said. “Michigan is one of only two states in the country that can’t throw cash at a company. So, what we can do? …have a great workforce. We can have great partnerships, so we can have sites that are ready. We can do a lot of things…to make sure that Michigan is competitive. And we’ve been successful in doing that, but we have to work.”

Continue to Be Team Michigan

In closing, the Governor touched on her recent trip to 2023 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, where she found many wanting to talk to her about everything happening in Michigan. She shared that experience encouraged her even more about Michigan’s future and encouraged the audience to be even better promoters of Michigan as a place to live and work.

“Michiganders are humble and it’s a wonderful quality. But we should have a little swagger like the Texans do because we got a lot to offer,” she said. “If every one of us is on Team Michigan, and telling the story, I don’t see how anyone can beat us.”