Governor Gretchen Whitmer made a peace offering to Republicans in her third State of the State address on Wednesday night. That’s as Republicans have ramped up their resistance to her COVID-19 restrictions.
The speech was delivered from the quiet of Whitmer’s Capitol office instead of before a live audience.
The governor tried to quell opposition to her orders that closed schools and restricted gatherings and business activities. Whitmer defended her actions, but also looked to the year ahead.
“And I’ll continue to reach out to Republicans here in Lansing. While common ground seems less and less common these days, it’s never been more important that we work toward it.”
Whitmer said ending the COVID crisis is the fastest and surest way to restart the state’s economy.
“The health of our economy is inextricably linked to the health of our people. Effectively rebuilding our economy this year requires protecting the public health, and that hurdle is cleared quicker and easier if we work together.”
GOP leaders will deliver their formal response later on Thursday. But the GOP-led Senate has starting rejecting Whitmer appointments and some Republican lawmakers have threatened to use their budget power to rein in the governor’s COVID plans.