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Whitmer State of the State address will be in person on January 25

governor gretchen whitmer standing at a podium
State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will deliver her State of the State address on Wednesday, January 25.

This will be the first State of the State delivered in person at the Capitol in three years and the first delivered by a Democratic governor to a Democratic Legislature in 40 years. Whitmer announced the date in a statement released Tuesday her office.

“The State of the State address is an opportunity to talk about the issues that make a real difference in people’s lives and focus on what we’re going to get done this year,” she said in the statement. “I can't wait to share my vision for our state as we move towards our bright future, and lay out my plans to lower costs, bring supply chains and manufacturing home to Michigan, and ensure Michiganders have unparalleled economic opportunity and personal freedom.”

Whitmer has said she will call on the Legislature to repeal Michigan’s dormant abortion ban, which was rendered unenforceable last year when voters approved an abortion-rights amendment to the state constitution.

“We saw the governor lead that in the last term, protecting Michiganders’ right to abortion and so the governor’s been pretty clear that there are zombie laws on the books and so it’s important to get those off the books to ensure that everybody has the rights that they need,” said Whitmer Communications Director Bobby Leddy.

Leddy said Whitmer will likely renew efforts to pass measures that stalled in her first term when Republicans controlled the House and the Senate. That includes expanding the state earned income tax credit for low-earning families.

But the governor will also have to take into account that the Democrats’ legislative majorities are razor thin – a reality Leddy acknowledged.

“Every vote counts and the governor has been committed to bipartisanship,” he told Michigan Public Radio. In Whitmer's first term, he said, “We’ve signed over a thousand bipartisan bills, and so carrying that forward is going to be something that we’re focused on.”

In 2021 and 2022, COVID-19 forced Whitmer to move the address online, though by tradition it is delivered from the rostrum of the House Chamber to a joint session of the Legislature.

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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