It was very concerning to hear Governor Whitmer’s governor’s priorities for 2020 in her State of the State address on January 29.

I think there are core issues we need to focus on to continue our state’s success: infrastructure, education, and responsible budgeting.

The number one priority is roads. It’s no secret. It was a major part of the governor’s campaign and a major part of the stalemate we found ourselves in during last year’s budget negotiations. I have serious concerns about her bonding proposal. We are still paying off bonds issued during the administration of Governor Engler, and I don’t think borrowing against our children is a reasonable or responsible approach to take.

People clearly opposed her gas tax increase, and now she wants to just delay a solution by borrowing the money and kicking the can down the road. We need to tighten our belts and look at existing revenues before going to taxpayers with our hands out. We have been and should continue fixing our infrastructure simply by reprioritizing our spending.

I will continue fighting for a solution that benefits Michigan as a whole, not just regions the governor picks and chooses. Her vetoes and transfers drastically impacted rural areas of the state and we cannot let her do the same with road funding proposals.

Michigan’s future and economy rely on students having a solid career path. Last year I supported increased funding for Michigan students and I will support any responsible efforts to make sure our kids are prepared for the future again this year. I also look forward to plans to continue narrowing the skilled trades gap. For years, skilled trades careers took second place to college degrees, and we are now facing a shortage in skilled trades careers because of that. We need to get these jobs filled and get more people back to work.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, we need to work together. Many of the problems facing the state are not political problems, they are Michigan problems. People are tired of the games and unreasonable proposals; they want to see real, meaningful action that improves their quality of life. We did it with auto no-fault and I hope we can solve more issues this year in that same bipartisan fashion.

We’ve come a long way since the recession and we can’t afford to turn back now. We need a responsible budget, and to steer clear of the tax-and-spend attitude that got Michigan in trouble in the first place.

—Senator Kevin Daley,
Lum