Gov. Whitmer, Tudor Dixon discuss Michigan’s budget ahead of November’s midterms

Published: Oct. 21, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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DETROIT (WNDU) - They were on the same stage, but not at the same time.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the G.O.P. challenger Tudor Dixon took turns on Friday addressing the Detroit Economic Club.

Both discussed their plans to increase population to meet Michigan’s workforce needs of the future.

“We also need to lure people to make their lives here in Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “We need immigration reform, on the federal level. We need to make sure that we are reaching into other states and drawing talent and pulling business into Michigan. One of the things I’m really excited about the prospect of, is if we enshrine reproductive rights into law here in Michigan, I want to go into Indiana and Ohio and start stealing headquarters and cultivating talent. Go to Purdue and talk to every woman engineer as well as Ohio State and bring them to Michigan.”

Republican Tudor Dixon has a different strategy. “They’re going to look at a few things when they move into a state. They’re going to look at how the schools are rated, and they’re going to look at how safe their community is. Oftentimes if you look at the safety of our communities right now, you would be horrified, and it would scare you away. We have four of the top 20 most dangerous cities in the country. One of them is our own capital city. That’s a deterrent for people to come to the State of Michigan, so we have to put, we have a plan. A safe state plan to put a billion new dollars in funding into policing to make sure we reduce crime, and we recruit and retain more police officers.”

The candidates also discussed their plans to deal with inflation.

“We know that people are challenged with the high cost of everything from gas to groceries. It is real and it is global. We also know that a governor can’t single handedly address global but what we can do is help make sure that we are making the investments that bring down costs for people,” said Governor Whitmer. “Couple of examples of things that we were able to do, and each of these is bipartisan.

Our legislature and I have found common ground on some really important fundamentals, whether it’s getting working families back into the workforce by bringing down the cost of daycare and early childhood care. Eliminating wait lists for four-year universal pre-K, or tri-share program, the sate picks up a third of the cost of daycare, the employer picks up a third, and the parent picks up a third. That’s how we’re helping working families keep more money in their pocket, get back to work, and know that their kids are safe.”

Tudor Dixon’s response to inflation involves cutting taxes. “We’ve talked about reducing the income tax over time, a responsible reduction of the income tax until we can phase it out completely. We know that the legislature has already presented two opportunities to the governor to reduce that income tax. I would want to do that right away, get to that first reduction. We also know the legislature has offered other ways to get money back into the pockets of the people, that have been vetoed by this governor. Options for child tax credit, which is so important to families right now. Options to have a gas tax holiday. That’s something we need to look at in the State of Michigan immediately. Michigan has some of the highest gas prices in the entire country.”

Governor Whitmer said that despite unprecedented challenges, including a pandemic, she delivered four consecutive bi-partisan budgets that contained record investments in public safety, infrastructure, and education.

Tudor Dixon is a mother of four school-aged children who is focused on improving education.