With less than a week to go before Election Day, Michigan's major-party candidates for governor answered questions about their plans for the state at the Detroit Economic Club Wednesday afternoon.
At the event, Republican candidate Bill Schuette and Democratic candidate Gretchen Whitmer discussed their ideas for improving Michigan's education, roads, and healthcare programs. They also talked about climate change and tax plans.
Many of the questions submitted for the candidates by DEC members dealt with higher education in the state.
Schuette said he'd work with Michigan's public universities to talk about rising costs of attending four-year institutions. However, he also emphasized the importance of career training for high school students in Michigan.
“You know, I… will work with the university presidents,” Schuette told the crowd of DEC members. “And the key thing here is not everyone will need to go to college. Some will be college ready. But we need to make sure we have career-ready folks.”
Whitmer agreed that it's important to grow trade and apprenticeship programs in the state. But she also said she plans to create an “opportunity scholarship” to make two-year and four-year degrees more accessible to Michiganders.
On the topic of climate change, Whitmer said she wants the state to join the U.S. climate alliance and grow its renewable energy portfolio. Using more renewable energy, she said, is not only good for the planet – it’s also a good economic move. .
“We should be building every part of a wind turbine in Michigan,” she said. “We should be building the solar panels here in Michigan as well. And it also uses a lot less freshwater when we use renewable energy than the production of fossil fuel energy.”
Schuette also acknowledged the threat climate change poses to Michigan. He said the whole world needs to work together to reduce carbon emissions – even "less developed countries."