Whitmer's 2023 State of the State brings mixed reactions from each side of the aisle

Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered her fifth State of the State Address, but her first since the onset of the Covid pandemic.

The state’s chief executive used her roughly 50 minute speech to layout new proposals to ease the strain of a tough economy on working families and seniors…while giving college graduates more reasons to stay in Michigan after graduation.

It’s the job of Speaker Joe Tate of Detroit to get it through the State House ASAP.  He says help will start with expanding the Working Families Tax Credit and taking on the retirement tax.

"We’re looking at tax relief," Tate said. "We’re looking at those working families that are in the city of Detroit but broadly across the economy we know with all of the data that we’ve seen that when working families have money in their pocket it makes the economy stronger."

"I was so pleased to hear the governor's positive message about Michiganders grit and being the chairwoman of the education committee, I heard tutoring, tutoring, tutoring, (and) expanding Michigan Reconnect and solidifying our budget and increasing it, and I can’t wait," said State Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia).  I can’t wait to see what this next four years bring."

But House Republicans from across Metro Detroit and elsewhere say there’s a whole lot that they did not hear from Whitmer. They expect Democrats to come to the table in good faith to get things done, with the Dems holding a slim edge in the House and Senate by just two seats each.

"You know I’m kind of a meat and potatoes type gal and there was not a lot of sustenance on that plate," said State Rep. Donni Steele (R-Oakland County). "So I just was a little disappointed that we didn’t talk about the tax and the tax rollback of what was discussed earlier this week - rolling back the income tax for all of the residents.

"(It) would affect all the residents in the state of Michigan going back from 4.25 to 4.05. So, I wish that was brought up a little bit. "

Senate Republican Leader Aric Nesbitt also weighed in.

"Unfortunately this week I think the Democrats are trying to shove a secret spending plan through the legislature without the media, without other folks knowing what’s actually in it," he said. "And so I think important as you look at it if Democrats and Republicans can work together, instead of them trying to figure out how do they pass another partisan plan - whether it’s on taxes, whether it’s on spending or other issues."