tv Michigan Governor Delivers the State of the State Address CSPAN January 28, 2021 9:06am-9:34am EST
>> biden cabinet nominees are on capitol hill this week for confirmation hearings. today at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span one hearing for two nominees, ohio congresswoman marcia fudge for housing and urban development. and cecelia rouse nominated for chair economic advisor. watch the confirmation hearings live on c-span, on demand at c-span.org or listen on the c-span radio app. >> in her state of the state address, michigan governor gretchen whitmer acknowledged the political divisions within the country and announced plans to create bipartisan partnerships in her own state with a new initiative. she also talked about the coronavirus response pledging 50,000 vaccine shots a day when
the supply becomes available. >> i am honored to welcome all of you from my hometown of detroit. last year was tough there's no doubt about it, but when our backs were up against the wall, we saw some truly remarkable things as michiganders stepped up in incredible ways to help each other. when we do things together, we are unbreakable. thanks for the conviction, the work ethic and resilience that fuels the soul of every person in our state. now, it is time for us to look forward together to write our next chapter. so, as the president of the 101st legislature, i officially call the 2021 state of the state address to order. please allow me to introduce my partner, the 49th governor of great state of michigan, governor gretchen whitmer.
>> good evening. last year i gave my second state of the state address in the house chamber here in the capitol. like much of the last year, this state of the state is different because it has to be. tonight it's just me and a few people in my capitol office and while it's different, the opportunity to speak directly to you, the people of michigan, about the past year and our priorities in 2021. so at the risk of losing you in the first minutes of this speech, let me use the latin phrase. [latin phrase] . in the years are followed by great years. and there's a latin phrase for that, too. and 2020 was a tough year, despite incredibly hard decisions, and dangerous threats, i know my burden has been lighter than many.
this year didn't pan out like any of us wanted or imagined. it required compassion and strength and a lot of michigan, first, let's remember the michiganders we've lost to covid. every day i think about the people who lost loved ones to this virus. those who visited with parents over zoom because it was too dangerous. michiganders still haven't properly mourned. i think about my friend cheryl -- sheriff benny napoleon who served his life was a sheriff. and there were loved ones, parents and siblings, children
and friends. throughout this crisis the people of michigan harnessed the empathy courage that make us who we are as michiganders, the state of our state is resilient. in the spring we followed the guidance of public health experts. we took the fact-based approach to fighting this novel virus. we flattened the curve together. we saved countless lives. detroit stepped up and retooled their machinery for ventilators, gloves. child care centers, police officers, firefighters, so many put their lives on the line to protect us. our connections offices like corrections offices and
sanitation offices, and the vast majority of you did your part in the midst of the worst public health crisis in our lifetimes, the world saw just how tough michiganders are. when we get knocked down, we dust ourselves off and pull each other back up. this past year we confronted historic converging crises, worldwide pandemic, the recession it caused, a 500-year flooding event, a nationwide call against racial inequity and a deeply divisive election and together, we took action. michigan house recently elected new leadership. i want to congratulate speaker jason wentworth
and democratic leader and welcome back senate leaders, leader shirkey and leader nick.
and based on the political environment, you may think that democrats and republicans in lansing can't find much common ground. but the reality is despite the crises and gridlock in washington we took real bipartisan action to get things done for you and your families. i signed two bipartisan budgets, balanced budgets, that prioritized public schools, public safety and public health. we worked together on the bipartisan, michigan reconnect program. that's tuition free job training for adults looking for post secondary certificate or associates agree. thanks to the senators, and representatives for their leadership on this. and
bipartisan legislation making our criminal justice system more fair and opportunities for michiganders
who served time. i want to thank the bipartisan group of legislators who helped get this done and the michigan legislative black caucus for all the work they have done on criminal justice reform. let's tap into that same energy and end the pandemic. revitalize our economy and get our kids back in school. let's make good use of this nonelection year and work together. after all, we're michiganders first. i know the biden administration is deeply committed to follow science, protecting public health and building our economy back better and i'm eager to work with president biden, vice-president harris and delegation to ramp our economy and continue to reach out to republicans here in lansing. while common ground seems less and less common these days, it's never more important that we work toward it. i know you're used to me saying
fix the damn roads. this year, let's also fix the damn roads ahead. find common ground to grow our economy, get the businesses back on their feet. it starts by ending the pandemic. the health of our economy is inextricably linked to the health of our people effectively rebuilding our economy this year requires that we protect public health. and that is cleared easier and quicker if we work together. and governor's primary responsibility is the safety of people of her state. during the worst public health crisis in history, we protected and expanded health care access in michigan. i signed bipartisan legislation to end surprise billing so michiganders don't get charged out of the blue for care and worked to address the high cost of prescription drugs. prices for life saving
prescriptions have skyrocketed, forcing people to choose between getting their medicine, paying rent, or buying food. last year i announced the prescription drug task force and just yesterday, they announced their plan to lower costs and increase drug price transparency. members of my cabinet worked with the bipartisan group of leaders on legislation that ensures accountability and affordability to help michigan families. many thanks to senators spring and vander wall and-- [inaudible] for bipartisan work on this. let's get this on the legislator's to-do list. during world war ii michigan became the arsenal of democracy building tanks and bombers to defend freedom and crush fascism. this year we stepped up as the arsenal of health, manufacturing masks, ventilators and ppe and the
epicenter of hope when the world watched the pfizer vaccine roll out at portage, michigan. since the beginning of the pandemic, the state waived costs for testing and treatment and we have performed over 9.6 million covid tests, which makes us 7th in the nation. that is thanks in large part to the brave women and men serving in the michigan national guard. they helped with covid, floods, and threats to our safety. as commander-in-chief of michigan national guard, i want to formally acknowledge our agitent general rogers for his leadership. the action saved life. and dr. joneigh khaldun, or dr. j as you've heard me call her,
sow covid impact communities of color by acknowledging that we not only saved lives in michigan, but around the country as other states learned from us. lt. governor gilchrist focused on education, testing and outreach that further saved lives. michigan leads the nation in reducing racial disparities of this pandemic and the biden-harris administration established its own task force modeled after ours. dr. j and our team have led the effort to get michiganders vaccinated. despite many challenges we have made great strides. we've prioritized our brave health care workers, centers and vulnerable populations most at risk and we've created the bipartisan protect michigan vaccine commission to ensure we get this right.
we are now in the second wave of distributing safe effective vaccines. michigan administered over 800,000 vaccines which makes us 6th in the nation. the number of vaccines we have administered has surpassed the number of reported covid cases in michigan. noi people are anxious and ready to get the vaccine. that's a good thing. the fact of the matter is we don't have the supply we need yet, but we will and the good news is that we do have a plan to get 50,000 shots in arms per day once the supply comes in. every eligible michigander who wants a vaccine will get one. this process is like a locomotive, cumbersome and slow in the beginning and it will get faster and smoother as we go. just ask for patience as our
frontline workers work around the clock to get shots in arms. our medical objective is to vaccinate at least 70% of our population age 16 and up as soon as possible. the quicker we do this, the quicker we'll have the normalcy we all crave. family gatherings, travel, graduations, concerts and more. in the coming months, the vaccine will be available to the general population. in our individual control, the act of getting vaccine is. and as we fight the new variants of the virus we must all continue to wear a mask, practice safe social distancing and avoid indoor gatherings. the good news is, we know how to fight this virus. the coming months will determine strength of our economic recovery. let's end this pandemic. make your plan to get vaccinated and keep wearing
your mask until this pandemic is over. let's join forces to jump start our economy. that means protecting small businesses. this pandemic has taken a massive toll on our small businesses and the people they employed. when the federal government failed we the state stepped up. last month i signed a bipartisan $106 million relief bill and to help small businesses impacted by covid including restaurant owners who made incredible sacrifices to keep their communities safe. and last week i announced the michigan covid recovery plan. distributing vaccines, getting our kids back on track and supporting small businesses to jump start our economy. my plan includes a call on the legislature to permanently extend unemployment benefits from 20 weeks to 26. this will bring michigan in line with 40 other states and
provide hard-hit michigan workers with the financial security and peace of mind they deserve. my plan gives crucial support for small business and resources to help them thrive long after the pandemic is over. it helps businesses like off seasons in macomb county. and had i urge them to help partner with me for the education of our kids and resurgence of our economy. let's get the mi covid recovery plan passed immediately. our economy demand every child has a great education. despite the budget crisis by covid we worked across the aisle to support our public schools. i signed a bipartisan budget that protected our kids from school cuts and took another step towards a weighted funding
formula. that means additional support for students with special needs, economically disadvantaged students and english language learners. covid deep in our education system. many students and educators and rural or low income communities lacked the technology access fundamental for remote learning. my budget proposal next month for continue building upon. covid has disrupted the learning experience, i see it my own kids. there are children that have not been in the classroom since march of last year. the took 10 months. and i set up a goal for in-person learning opportunity by march 1st. we've seen by following the safety protocols this can be done successfully.
and reconvening the members of the return to school advisory council. by spring this group will provide guidance, the policy maker, districts and schools, the house to best promote comprehensive recovery. and my budget will fund academic recovery. school infrastructure improvements and supports for school's physical and mental health and i want to say thank you to our incredible educators, administrators, and support safe for their dedication to our students throughout this pandemic. in gratitude, next month, we will reward my classroom heroes grants up to $500 each for teachers and support staff. these grants will offset some expenses and acknowledge their extraordinary efforts. in addition to my classroom heroes, we owe special thank you to front line health care
workers, including direct care workers provide nursing and health care, for seniors and michiganders with disabilities. we gave these heroes $2 an hour increase. i worked with the legislature to extend it for months and then for a few more months and now it's time to make that pay raise permanent because it's not enough to say thank you. we need to show support. this is one of the reasons why i created futures for frontliners modeled after the g.i. bill after world war ii. tuition-free post secondary education opportunities for the heroes on the front line of the pandemic. the frontline workers, health care workers, grocery store employees, child care workers, janitors and everyone who stepped up to protect us, they are heroes. they stayed at work so the rest of us could stay home. and they earned our full
support. more than 82,000 frontline heroes have been accepted into the program. that's over 82,000 lives that could be changed as a result. 82,000 people who will enhance their skill sets and earn higher wages. path to skills are important, but we must ensure there are good jobs for michiganders at the end of the path. we have been hard at work. since i was sworn into office we've announced more nan 11,400 auto jobs at gm, ford and fca. our auto industry helps drive our economy and ensures good paying jobs for hardwork, uaw members and their families and growing more great jobs for michigan workers. today i'm announcing michiganing-- michigan back to work to get michiganders back on their feet and have the levers to rebuild
our economy back better. with state government, business and beyond to grow great paying jobs in michigan. over the next year we will announce initiatives big and small. tech, manufacturing growth, clean energy and road construction. this is create, grow more good paying jobs and time for legislation to extend, grow our businesses and create good jobs. you may not know this, but pfizer was the first business to utilize the jobs for michigan. they built their sterile drug manufacturing plant and created 450 good paying jobs in portage. passing this legislation will be good for our families, our economies and our businesses. let's get it done.
-- requires continued focus on our infrastructure. the long infrastructure saga in michigan impacts our ability to navigate our roads without thousands of dollars each year in vehicle repairs. we had to focus on the pandemic, we proved we could chew gum and walk at the same time. a lot has happened. last year i announced the rebuild michigan bonding plan to create and sustain tens of thousands of job and start fixing the damn roads without an increase at the pump because better roads mean better jobs. even combatting covid. we moved a lot of dirt. in lansing we created the i-496 rebuilding michigan project with hundreds of more projects on the horizon, including heavily traveled sections of i-96 in oakland county, i-69 in calhoun county and i-94 in
berrian county. in just days after the flood in midland would your incredible mdot workers rebuilt a crucial bridge on u.s. 10 in record time. hard working construction workers, laborers, operate and engineers got this done safely in the middle of a pandemic. thank you. we are going to forge ahead rebuilding our roads in 2021 to protect our families and keep more money in michiganders' pockets. as for your local roads and bridges, last session legislation was introduce today give local communities more options so that they can move some dirt, too. it's a good idea and it's time for the legislature to get it done. we've also kept moving forward on water infrastructure. last year i announced the michigan clean water plan, $500 million investment in michigan's water infrastructure. direct dollars to communities for a safe, clean water to
residents. and it sports over 7500 michigan jobs. it's time for the legislature to pass these bills so we can start rebuilding michigan's water infrastructure. i'll keep working so every family in michigan has clean, safe water. we still have a lot of work to do to join forces to end the pandemic, and grow our economy. in 2020, thanks to the hard work of secretary of state jocelyn benson and attorney general dana nessel, michigan held historic election. secretary benson ran a fair and secure election of which we should all be proud. and attorney general nestle dedefended-- they along with local clerks and staffs of the secretary after state and attorney general's offices should be immensely proud. and yet, we know that deep
divisions in our country are present here in michigan, too. this year i will launch affixing the damn road ahead tour to engage with and listen to michigan -- michiganders, from lake superior, to like michigan, lake erie, lake superior and in between. to see what unites us, and the together we'll fix the damn road ahead. my mission is to find common ground so we can emerge from this crisis stronger than ever. when we rang in the new year january 1st, 2020, we had high hopes, resolutions, planned trips, in my case, a high school graduation with our families and friends. it's easy to look back on this last year and focus on the bad, but we cannot forget the action
we took to pregnant ourselves and our families. to those of you who stepped up and did your part, listened to medical experts, stayed home, wore a mask, helped out a neighbor, and practiced social distancing, your actions saved lives. your action ensured more michiganders will be able to spend thanksgiving and christmas 2021 with their loved ones. and on behalf of the entire state of michigan thank you. now, to the legislative leaders tuning in, our job now is to fix the damn road ahead together. let's commit to the strong bipartisan action we took last year and focus that same energy to end the pandemic, grow our economy and get our kid back on track. the people of michigan are counting on us.
here is to a great year. let's get it done. >> use our website, c-span.org/coronavirus to follow the federal response to the coronavirus outbreak. let's watch track the spread with interactive maps all on c-span.org/coronavirus. >> here is a look at our live coverage today. at 10 a.m. eastern on c-span, the senate banking committee holds a confirmation hearing for marcia fudge to be secretary of housing and urban development and cecelia rouse, and 10 a.m. for homeland security secretary. and c-span 3, 10:45 a.m., house
speaker nancy pelosi speaks to legislators about the legislative agenda. for the last nine years, rhode island senator sheldon whitehouse has been raising an i wearness about the effects of climate change in a series of speeches from the floor. on wednesday the democratic lawmaker gave his final speech on the topic. >> i'm particularly glad to see the senior senator from new mexico presiding on for what are for me is a sentimental moment because he has been such a terrific friend and colleague and advocate in the battle about climate change. i'm here today because at last it is time to say farewell to my battered time to wake up image board here ando