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Whitmer: 2nd term will be “liberating”

Whitmer speaking at a podium
State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s looking forward to next year and working with a Legislature controlled by Democrats. It will be the first time that both houses of the Legislature and the governor’s office are under Democratic control in almost 40 years.

The governor also said Friday she hopes that will lead to solutions on road funding, among other things, as she doesn’t have to take reelection into consideration.

“I think it will be liberating, to be honest,” she said in an interview with Michigan Radio's It's Just Politics. “We’ve got a very different Legislature. This will be my last term as governor. I’m going to serve four years and my goal is to hand this over — the state leadership over to whomever succeeds me in as strong a position as we can build.”

Whitmer said repealing the state’s dormant 1931 statute that would outlaw most abortions is high on the to-do list. Enforcement of that law is currently blocked by a lower court ruling. But the governor also said she still hopes the Michigan Supreme Court will rule soon on her request for a decision that abortion rights are protected by the state constitution’s equal protection clause. She said that will ensure there’s no ambiguity before a voter-approved abortion rights amendment takes effect in late December.

“We’re working with our lawyers to make sure that whatever we do, our next steps are geared toward making sure that we live up to the message that the voters sent,” Whitmer said.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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