Rick Pluta

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   There are 11 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. That brings the total number to 65, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

But there is still a shortage of kits to test for the disease.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says there are more suspected COVID-19 cases in Michigan than there are available tests. She hopes a new federal assistance package will help fix that. But, she says, for now, health care providers have to prioritize testing for the most at-risk people.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered public and private schools in Michigan to close as part of the state’s effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

“In an abundance of caution, I am ordering the closure of all K-12 school buildings in Michigan for three weeks starting Monday, March 16th until Sunday, April 5th”

The number of presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in Michigan has spiked to 12 – and more are expected. Whitmer says K-12 schools are an obvious nexus where the virus can be spread.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has thrown her support behind former Vice President Joe Biden just days before Michigan’s March 10th presidential primary. 

The governor announced her endorsement on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program. Whitmer says her reasons for supporting Biden include his work in the Obama administration on the Affordable Care Act and the auto industry rescue.

“And when Michigan needed help it was Barack Obama and Joe Biden who had our back,” she says.

DETROIT, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan will soon have a “Chief Mobility Officer” to help the state’s auto industry make the transition into the next era of transportation. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer was in Detroit Tuesday to sign the orders to create an “Office of Future Mobility and Electrification.”

Jeff Donofrio directs the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. He will lead the search for a “Chief Mobility Officer.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether a law that makes it more difficult for petition drives to qualify for the ballot is constitutional. 

The lawsuit challenges an official opinion from state Attorney General Dana Nessel, a Democrat. The opinion addresses a law that sets new standards for petition drives to succeed. One of the rules says no more than 15 percent of the signatures can come from one congressional district.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer presented her budget proposal to state lawmakers Thursday, setting the stage for a new round of bargaining with Republicans on spending plans. 

Whitmer’s plan calls for paid parental leave for state workers, and more money for schools, including grants to help teachers with out-of-pocket expenses. She wants to find a way to fund the Pure Michigan program, after vetoing that money last year.

And she says the state should step up with money for infrastructure projects.


EAST LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered the official Democratic Party response to the State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

Whitmer delivered her 10-minute rebuttal from an East Lansing high school auditorium packed with invited guests. She took issue with President Trump’s claim of a “blue collar boom.”  

“Americans are hurting. In my own state. Our neighbors in Wisconsin, and Ohio, and Pennsylvania. All over the country wages have stagnated while CEO pay has skyrocketed.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Democrats are turning to Michigan’ s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, to deliver the English language response to President Trump’s State of the Union address Tuesday night.

The choice highlights the central role Michigan and the industrial Midwest are expected to play in the presidential election this year.

Trump won Michigan by fraction of a percentage point, but that was enough to put the state’s 16 electoral votes in the Republican column. It was also the first time the GOP candidate won the state since 1988.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The State Transportation Commission has given the go-ahead to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to sell bonds to finance Michigan’s most urgently needed road repairs.

The governor says low interest rates and a growing urgency make bonding the best option right now. But she says borrowing won’t fix the entire problem.

Whitmer says she still hopes the Republican-led Legislature will consider increasing the fuel tax by 45 cents a gallon to raise the needed revenue. And that she’s aware that people are not happy about tax increases.

Rick Pluta / Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she'll work around the legislature to fix roads if  lawmakers won't work with her. 

The Michigan Public Radio Network's Rick Pluta attended the governor's State of the State address and has the story.