(FOX 2) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she is not into a lot of pomp and circumstance when it comes to the speech and she will prove that. Normally governors take about an hour to lay out their agenda, but the governor's speech tonight is a crisp 35 minutes.
As expected, the governor will ask the state transportation commission this week to sell bonds to fix the roads with a 1.29% interest rate. She does need not the approval of the two GOP leaders to do this and while they have raised concerns about going into debt to pave the roads, the governor says her move is fiscally prudent and she'll do this without Republican support.
However, the republicans want a say on where those bonding dollars will go, but the governor will spend the bulk of it in urban areas where the roads are the worst and not in outstate Michigan where a lot of GOP lawmakers live and the roads are not that bad, she argues.
"Why fix roads that aren't the most traveled? Why fix roads that don't need to be rebuilt? We have lots of roads in this state that have been neglected for a long time that need to be rebuilt. We have access to low rates," she said.
On the health care front, the governor is very concerned that the Affordable Care Act., Obamacare, may be tossed out by the high courts, which is why she will ask the Republican legislature to put into state law -- all of the guarantees in the federal law, such as coverage for pre existing conditions, paying for birth control, ambulance service, immunizations. It could be a tough sell to get GOP support.
Whitmer will also create a task force to reduce the cost of prescription drugs by allowing michigan residents to get their medicine in Canada. She will ask announced a partnership with the Detroit Medical Center and MSU to deal with the health concerns of pregnant women.
She also wants a new welcoming center on Mackinac Island. At the urging of organized labor, she wants to make sure workers get overtime for work over 40 hours a week and she wants to protect against paycheck fraud.
Whitmer will pay tribute to former Gov. William Milliken. he learned about bipartisanship, civility, and how to be a good governor, in part, from Milliken, who died last year.
The governor is still trying the channel Millikens bipartisan strategy but the impatient governor is not waiting around for the other side to do the same.
"I've tried to work with them and I've remained eager. I invite them to the table on a long term funding solution, but I've got to get things moving now and I'm going to do it unilaterally if I have to," she said.