In News Releases

For Immediate Release

February 12, 2019

Many policy issues in Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State align with the League’s new policy agenda

LANSING—The Michigan League for Public Policy issued the following statement on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2019 State of the State address. It can be attributed to League President and CEO Gilda Jacobs, who served in the Michigan Legislature for 12 years, including serving side-by-side with Gov. Whitmer during Whitmer’s first term in the House and again in the Senate from 2006 to 2010.

“Tonight Gov. Gretchen Whitmer outlined her plan to build a better Michigan for all residents, from reducing discrimination to improving education access and economic opportunity, and improving public services through state departments both through policy change and personnel morale and structure. These plans are ambitious, but they are also vital to our future. For too long Michigan’s leaders have been looking at our state through rose-colored glasses, and I think the people want and deserve some straight talk like they got tonight on where we are, how we got there and how we can turn things around.”

“Improving public health by addressing our water systems and other failing infrastructure, maintaining the resounding success of the Healthy Michigan Plan, investing in education and literacy improvement from preschool to college and skills training, and many of the other policy proposals discussed are spot-on, as they align closely with what we heard from residents around the state in creating our Owner’s Manual for Michigan policy agenda. Like the governor, we think these issues can and should transcend party lines and political agendas, and we’re looking forward to working with her and Republican leaders in the Legislature to get things done.”

Background on The Owner’s Manual for Michigan:

Over the last few months, League staff met with local residents in Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Lansing, Muskegon, and Petoskey and solicited additional input online to learn how state policies have been affecting state residents. The League’s policy analysts combined this public feedback with data and analysis and their decades of experience in state policy to compile The Owner’s Manual for Michigan, a list of 14 concrete policy recommendations for Michigan policymakers. These policy improvements focus on four core areas: Strong WorkersThriving FamiliesHealthy Communities and Top-Notch Education. The Owner’s Manual includes a two-page analysis of each policy issue, the current problem, and the solutions—including how to address racial inequities in each area.

Here is The Owner’s Manual for Michigan’s full list of policy recommendations to get all Michigan residents on the road to prosperity and security:

Top-Notch Education

  • Jumpstart Early Learning
  • Ramp up School Funding
  • Develop a Road Map for Reading

Strong Workers

  • Pave the Way for Better Jobs
  • Create a Route for Building Skills
  • Put Justice-Involved Residents Back on the Road

Healthy Communities

  • Curb Public Health Threats
  • Drive Healthcare Forward
  • Build Bridges for Immigrants
  • Give Kids Keys to a Strong Future

Thriving Families

  • Fill up Workers’ Pockets
  • Move the Needle on Child Care Access
  • Open Doors to Safer Homes
  • Fuel Families with Healthy Foods

Interested residents and lawmakers can get involved with the Owner’s Manual at, and


The Michigan League for Public Policy,, is a nonprofit policy institute focused on economic opportunity for all. It is the only state-level organization that addresses poverty in a comprehensive way.

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