Detroit Regional Chamber > Media Coverage > Whitmer: Democratic Agenda ‘No Slam Dunk’ in Legislature With Slim Majority

Whitmer: Democratic Agenda ‘No Slam Dunk’ in Legislature With Slim Majority

February 14, 2023

The Detroit News
Feb. 13, 2023
Hannah Mackay

Detroit — Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer acknowledged Monday her party’s narrow majority in the Legislature makes her agenda “no slam dunk” as lawmakers work to secure the votes needed to pass immediate tax relief that’s paired with subsidies for corporations that expand in Michigan.

Whitmer spoke to Detroit’s business community mid-day Monday at MotorCity Casino during an event hosted by the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Despite the historic wins in November’s midterm elections, Whitmer said she still wants the majority of legislation that crosses her desk to have bipartisan support.

“I’m cognizant that it is a two-seat majority, it’s not a mandate,” Whitmer said. “There are no slam dunks in the Legislature and there are people on the ends and on the spectrum who are going to oppose economic development no matter what.”

Whitmer appeared to be referencing Thursday’s narrow 56-53 vote in the House on tax relief legislation that contained $1.5 billion over three years for cash grants to corporations that create new jobs.

Democratic Rep. Dylan Wegela of Garden City defected on the vote, forcing Democrats to rely on support from Rep. Mike Mueller, R-Linden, to pass the legislation, House Bill 4001. Rep. William Bruck, R-Erie, was absent and did not vote.

Whitmer made the comment hours before she joined Ford Motor Co. officials for the announcement of a $3.5 billion investment in an electric vehicle battery plant in Calhoun County. The project is set to receive more than $1 billion in tax incentives and breaks.

The tax relief legislation now moves to the Senate this week, where Democrats with a 20-18 majority need six Republicans to vote to give the bill immediate effect in order for Michigan taxpayers to receive $180 “inflation relief” checks by late spring or early summer.

At the Detroit chamber’s annual event, Whitmer delivered a run-down of her $79 billion budget plan that was proposed last week. Afterward, she discussed her policy and spending priorities in an interview with Dan Loepp, CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.