After a year battling Republicans, Whitmer vows executive action on roads, other priorities

BY: and - January 29, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was not shy Wednesday evening about addressing the partisan roadblocks her administration faced over the last year from the Republican-controlled Legislature, which stymied some of her biggest policy goals. The Democratic governor delivered her second State of the State address in the Michigan House chamber, taking a look back at the progress […]

Whitmer expected to unveil road bonding plan in SOS speech

BY: - January 29, 2020

It’s been almost a year since Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer asked the GOP-led Legislature to OK a 45-cent gas tax hike to inject $2.5 billion into Michigan’s decrepit roads and bridges. That failed to gain traction, so now it looks like it’s on to Plan B — and the “B” stands for bonding. Whitmer is […]

Senate passes bill for Michigan toll roads study

BY: - January 28, 2020

A series of roads and transportation bills passed the Michigan Senate today, including legislation to allow a study that would look at the possibility of tolling high-traffic roads across the state as one way to boost infrastructure spending. Senate Bill 517, sponsored by state Sen. John Bizon (R-Battle Creek), would require the Michigan Department of […]

No, pot money still won’t fill Michigan’s potholes — not even close

BY: - January 28, 2020

Last year, one of the most popular rejoinders to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s proposed 45-cent gas tax increase to fix the roads was just use tax revenue from marijuana sales to solve the problem instead. Now Whitmer is set to give her State of the State address Wednesday and will outline her plan for next year’s […]

Meanwhile in Republican Ohio … roads, bridges to see improvements with new gas tax money

BY: - January 12, 2020

Tim Schumm is already looking forward to spring.  County engineers like him also serve as amateur meteorologists. Forget baseball. Spring means it’s paving season, and the Henry County official knows the recent influx of gas tax revenue will help to get an extra 11 miles of road paved this spring. His office couldn’t have paid […]

The Advance’s best stories of 2019 you may have missed

BY: - December 30, 2019

Quotable of the Year: “One of the great drawbacks of being in Congress is that I must receive insulting letters from weak-minded jackasses like yourself. Will you please take two running jumps and go to hell.” — Former U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) in a 1957 letter  Susan J. Demas graphic In the last days […]

Whitmer ‘concerned’ about Michigan government shutdown in 2020

BY: - December 21, 2019

In one of her last acts of her first year in office, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a supplemental spending deal negotiated — at long last — with GOP legislative leaders. Whitmer sought to emphasize the positives in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget process at her year-end press conference with Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist this […]

Whitmer signs supplemental package after rocky first budget year with GOP leaders

BY: - December 20, 2019

After months of discord between the governor and Michigan’s GOP leaders, the state’s budget fiasco has finally come to an end. On Friday morning, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed every bill in the Fiscal Year 2020 supplemental budget package. The package, which was passed by the GOP-led Legislature earlier this month before they left for the […]

Whitmer likely ditching 45-cent gas tax, as ‘worst pothole season in recent memory’ looms

BY: - December 18, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature pledge to “fix the damn roads” will have to wait until 2020, as she and the GOP Legislature never hammered out a plan — they barely agreed to a budget deal — and lawmakers are gone for the year. But she’s not ready to reveal her new plan yet. Speaking with […]

Whitmer: Betsy DeVos is unpopular, Trump tweets are ‘dumb’ 

BY: - November 15, 2019

WASHINGTON — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer doesn’t mince her words when she talks about President Donald Trump, Betsy DeVos and Republicans in the Michigan Legislature.  The Michigan Democrat on Friday described all of them as hurdles she’s facing in achieving some of her top policy goals on issues like health care, trade, infrastructure and education. Whitmer […]


Rick Haglund: People aren’t moving from Michigan — but that’s not the good news you might think

BY: - October 5, 2019

Michigan’s auto industry was built, in part, on the backs of hundreds of thousands of poor workers from the South who moved here in search of good jobs and better lives. Detroit’s population swelled by some 400,000 residents between 1930 and the early 1950s, as people from the South and other countries moved to the […]


Susan J. Demas: It took a Democratic governor to ax pork-barrel spending in Michigan

BY: - October 2, 2019

It’s been nine months since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer took office, but Republicans are still struggling to accept that they don’t run everything in Michigan anymore. She’s also managed to do what conservatives have piously begged for: Cut $1 billion in pork-barrel spending from the budget — the opposite of what her supposed fiscal genius GOP […]