Compromise between Michigan legislature and Governor appears farsighted

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 3:51 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Governor’s plan for a COVID relief package is dead on arrival at the Capitol. Speaker Jason Wentworth says the Republican-led legislature will work on their own plan.

The political drama in Michigan has been constant for months now with each side blaming the other for not compromising.

“There’s some of that political, you know, bantering that has to happen, you know, to get things done. But at the same time, that’s all we have been doing in Michigan, for the last year, and that needs to change. People want to see that change,” said Wentworth.

Wentworth is calling for the legislature and the governor’s relationship to turn a new leaf, but insists Governor Whitmer needs to take the lead.

“I think there’s always room for compromise. And if I’m not willing to compromise, I can’t demand the compromise from the other side of the aisle or another branch of government. What I think is not negotiable for me is the governor acting unilaterally. And so I will stand up and fight against that for the next two years if I have to,” said Wentworth.

Because Wentworth says the governor went at it alone, he says her $5.6 billion Michigan COVID recovery plan is essentially dead on arrival in the legislature.

“She doesn’t have the authority to appropriate dollars. That’s a legislature’s job. And so with her, without reaching out to us first unveils a plan. I wouldn’t even call it a plan. It’s more bullet points of things that she wants to address with the federal dollars. It’s just not going to work that way,” said Wentworth.

He says they are working on a plan within the legislature first.

“As far as I’m concerned, the governor should have as much input in this federal COVID funding, as she has given in the legislature, which is nothing in the past 10 months,” said Wentworth.

He also doesn’t think Governor Whitmer should get credit for the progress Michigan has made with vaccine distribution or getting cases on a downward trend.

“I think that more so than people respond to that like our personal responsibility that we have as a society, as a state. I give us credit. The people that have thought through this every day grinding, whether it is to, you know, keep their business open whether it is to keep their employees working, whether the employee is, you know, able to successfully get through an appointment to, you know, food on their table. There are several things that I give credit to the people of Michigan. I don’t think any one person should get credit for saving lives,” said Wentworth.

Despite all this, Speaker Wentworth is calling on the governor to deliver a message of unity at the state of state address.

In terms of the legislature’s COVID relief plan, he says they understand the urgency and expect to unveil details soon.

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