UP republicans respond to Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State address

Law makers in Lansing clap at the State of the State address.
Law makers in Lansing clap at the State of the State address.(wluc)
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 5:09 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - After Wednesday night’s State of the State address by Governor Whitmer, State Republicans are providing their own perspective on the future of the legislature where they are now in the minority.

Whitmer had a few main goals: stricter gun laws, repealing outdated laws that restrict abortion and who one can marry and providing pre-k education for all 4-year-olds in the state as well as repealing the pension tax law.

“Seniors who served saved and did everything right deserve to keep more of what they earned. Let’s get it done,” Whitmer said.

State Representative David Prestin says overall the tone of the speech was promising.

“I liked the bipartisanship tone and I hope that comes to fruition,” Prestin said. “There were a lot of parts of the State of the State where bipartisanship was mentioned but did not segway into the approach, especially in the three-point plan.”

Prestin says one part of the plan that stuck out was providing free pre-k education.

“I don’t see the resources there and I don’t know where they are going to come from,” Prestin said. “It is a great idea and something I could get behind but logistically I don’t know how that happens. It is one of those things that is a great talking point, but I don’t see a path, especially in the U.P.”

State Representative Greg Markkanen says he has many questions about Whitmer’s plan around gun safety. It would add universal background checks, safe storage laws and extreme protection laws.

“We are more than happy to work with the governor every turn to make schools safer across Michigan but confiscating and forcing private citizens to do gun storage and going in that direction: who is going to going to buy these storage facilities for private citizens,” Markkanen said.

Markkanen says the address left out the issues in the U.P.

“The governor seemed to focus on downstate a lot and that is very concerning,” Markkanen said. “We do have some things in the work for the U.P., but now that the majority has changed it seems like the whole tone down here in Lansing has changed. "

Republicans say they have their own retirement tax plan that would expand benefits to those who served in the private sector.