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ICYMI: Gov. Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist Bring ‘Make it in Michigan’ Budget Tour to Michiganders’ Backyards


August 4, 2023



ICYMI: Gov. Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist Bring ‘Make it in Michigan’ Budget Tour to Michiganders’ Backyards


LANSING, Mich. – This week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist II barnstormed the state to discuss the recently signed ‘Make it in Michigan’ budget with Michigan media.


FOX 2: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talks 1-on-1 about new state budget, power outages and Covid policies

Governor Gretchen Whitmer celebrated the passage of her 2024 budget at one of the places that will benefit from some of the $82 billion being invested into the state. Flanked by Wyandotte fire trucks on Monday, she’s promising an investment to first responders.


"We paid down billions in debt, we have over $2 billion in our rainy day fund," she said. "We created a school aid rainy day fund. So in the event that there are ups and downs in the economy in the future, we don’t have to make any cuts in education or to first responders."


9 & 10 NEWS: Gov. Whitmer Talks Historic Budget, Affordable Housing, Insurance Ruling with 9&10 News

Northern Michigan’s News Leader went one-on-one Tuesday with Governor Gretchen Whitmer less than 24 hours after she signed a historic state budget into law.


“I think that it’s also important to note that we’ve been really fiscally responsible. We paid down billions in debt since I’ve become governor. We have amassed a $2 billion rainy day fund. So in the event we see bubbles in the in the economy going forward, that we’ve got some security. We also have created a rainy day fund for schools,” said Whitmer.


The budget throws millions of dollars at what is arguably one of the most pressing needs in northern Michigan, affordable housing.


“We just don’t have enough housing stock. We just don’t. And it’s not unique to Michigan. It is a problem all across the country. I think we’ve got to continue doing what we have started to do. This is not a one off. It cannot stop with one budget. This has got to be a sustained effort to build up housing. It’s going to take a while to get the housing stock that we need to support the population growth that we all want to see here in Michigan,” explained Whitmer.


UPNORTHLIVE: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer discusses key issues with UpNorthLive News  

While at the station, Gov. Whitmer took time to answer questions focused on key issues impacting northern Michigan.


“I’m really proud of this budget, and I signed the education budget in Suttons Bay, and people often ask why on Earth are you going all the way to Suttons Bay to sign this budget. It’s because this budget is going to help students all across the state. The free breakfast and lunch for every student is going to save families about $850 a year per child. Putting more resources into transportation to get our kids to school. Especially in rural areas. That’s more money that can stay in the classroom. Support the teacher. Ensure that the child is getting the robust supports that they need to be successful.” 


WNEM: Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist calls budget ‘investment in our communities’

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s record $81.7 billion budget is not coming without some criticism from Republicans, and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist addressed some of the concerns Tuesday in an interview with TV5.




“They [those lawmakers who opposed budget] are going to have to answer for voting against all these projects in the community and saving money and putting money in people’s pockets. The truth is this budget does not raise any kind of taxes,” Gilchrist said.


Several programs and departments are getting bolstered by the $57 billion general budget Whitmer approved Monday. It will provide funding for state departments, including over $6.5 billion for Transportation and $1 billion for the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. It also provides hundreds of millions in grants for public safety and infrastructure within communities.


“It [the budget] actually just provides investment in our communities, more access to affordable housing because in every community I go to in Michigan we talk about needing to have more homes for people to afford. Well, this budget -- it will invest $50 million dollars, ongoing opportunities for investment every single year in building more affordable housing, renovating assisted living homes, doing environmental mitigation and cleanup,” Gilchrist said.


MIDLAND DAILY NEWS: $57.4 billion state budget includes $40 million for Midland flood reduction

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist III explained that these appropriations are made in addition to the $200 million that has already been invested in Midland since the flood in 2020. Gilchrist estimated he has been to Midland at least eight times since the disaster and that the Governor’s office intends to continue its support for the Midland area's recovery. 


“This isn’t the first time the state has supported the flood response infrastructure in the area,” Gilchrist said. “The state-provided resources this year building on the support that we’ve been giving is about $200 million worth of support that has come through before this additional $40 (million). I think that's a demonstration of our ongoing commitment.”




“(It’s) something that I know has been a big subject when I’ve spoken to people in and around Midland and in Midland County about a real need in the community, so we’re really making the state's biggest ever commitment to affordable housing, building on the $200 million we’ve invested so far since we’ve been in office," Gilchrist said.


PETOSKEY NEWS REVIEW: Whitmer visits Habitat for Humanity’s Alanson subdivision

On Tuesday, MSHDA representatives, local officials and Habitat staff welcomed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to the Meadowlands site for a tour.  


“It is amazing to see not just Habitat working so close with MSHDA, but to meet a family who moved into one of these homes in May,” Whitmer said. “I asked them ‘Where were you living beforehand?’ And they were living in an apartment with two children. It was very small and cramped, and now they’ve got three bedrooms and a lot of land around them. I think that’s one of the things that I love about Northern Michigan is when we build up this affordable housing stock, it’s really a very high quality of life for people. That’s why it’s so needed and it’s so important that we’re doing this work.”




In order to sustain momentum on housing projects, and encourage others to address the problem as well, Whitmer said you need both a sustained strategy and dedicated resources. 


UPNORTHLIVE: Gov. Whitmer tours Emmet County affordable housing development  

Gov. Whitmer said that housing is a top priority for her and a Habitat for Humanity development in Alanson already has a family moved in.




"They’ve got a place for their kids to play outside as well as inside. I mean, that’s a family whose life has been dramatically improved, because we made an opportunity like this available, and that’s why it’s so important we keep working at it," Gov. Whitmer said.


TC RECORD EAGLE: Whitmer touts free school meals for students  

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spent Wednesday afternoon discussing the recent inclusion in the state budget of free breakfast and lunch for all public school students.




“As we wrote the state budget into law, one of our main focuses was ensuring that kids who came from households that are food insecure didn’t have to worry about getting two meals at school free of charge and de-stigmatizing getting a free meal,” Whitmer said. “The primary goal was to make sure that we are supporting our children so they can learn at school and not worry about where their next meal is coming from.”


9 & 10 NEWS: Gov. Whitmer visits Cherry Capital Foods to talk about free school meals program

“I understand if some people are hesitant or think that it’s going to cost them personally, but this now is something that we have funded in the state budget. It’s going to improve outcomes, it’s going to improve the health and welfare of our children and our families and so it’s a good thing,” Gov. Whitmer said.


The Make it in Michigan Program will help around 1.4 million public school students in Michigan.


INTERLOCHEN PUBLIC RADIO: Whitmer up north to promote $160M for free school meals

“This is going to be a real game changer,” Whitmer told reporters after touring the company's warehouse. She said the program would save families about $850 per year, per school aged child.


“And most importantly, it'll get nutrition into our kids daily, so that they can learn while they're in school. And it supports local farmers.”


UPNORTHLIVE: Gov. Whitmer tours food warehouse in Traverse City  

"Farming is tough, and it's crucial," Gov. Whitmer said. "We have the most second most diverse agriculture offerings in the country. It's a great source of pride, especially when you consider our growing season so much shorter than other states."


"But it is a tough business and that's why whether it's the 10-cent meal or it is Double Up Food Bucks," Gov. Whitmer said. "These are all ways to help people get good food and support our local farming economy."


Interlochen Public Radio: During Traverse City stop, Whitmer outlines wish list for next budget

The governor made a stop Wednesday in Traverse City to talk about the $57.4 billion budget she just signed this week for the fiscal year that begins October 1.


But she said she’s already thinking about the next budget for the fiscal year that begins in 2024. The governor specifically mentioned expanding support for day care, mental health services and affordable housing. She would also like to boost business attraction incentives such as a research-and-development tax credit to act as a lure to the manufacturing sector.


“These are all items that will be top of mind as we do that work,” she said.


Make it in Michigan Budget

The FY24 budget totals $81.7 billion, including a general fund total of $15.2 billion. The budget deposits $200 million into the Budget Stabilization Fund, or ‘rainy day fund,’ bringing the balance to nearly $2 billion by the end of FY24, an all-time high.


Housing Investments 

  • $212 million for residential energy efficiency improvements through federal funds, lowering costs for Michiganders via point-of-sale rebates for home appliances, water heaters and more. 
  • $50 million for the Housing and Community Development Program to alleviate affordable housing needs across the state and revitalize downtown areas in Michigan. 
  • $10 million for Missing Middle housing programs to build on existing $50 million within the current year budget. 
  • $2 million to expand capacity of the State Land Bank Authority, which facilitates productive reuse of land in our communities.