Wednesday evening, Governor Gretchen Whitmer took to the airwaves to deliver her third State of the State address. She lobbed a few talking points from the Biden administration, hyped the new President’s slogan, and talked a lot about bipartisanship.

We caught up with Lynn Afendoulis, press secretary for Speaker Wentworth, Beth DeShone, Executive Director of the Great Lakes Education Project and Tori Sachs, Executive Director of Michigan Rising Action for their reactions to Gov. Whitmer’s lackluster address. You can hear what they had to say in the latest edition of our podcast, “In the Trenches.”

Among the many things left unsaid in the address: the state of the state is far too often unemployed.

Almost 359,000 Michiganians who want to work can’t find a job.

64,000 workers lost their jobs last month alone.

Roughly 20,000 more people file for unemployment every week.

The unemployment rate is double what it was in January of last year. It’s higher than the rate in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota – and Michigan’s COVID-19 death rate is higher, too.

Governor Whitmer’s only answer to struggling families during her speech was tax giveaways for big businesses, road funding she already vetoed, and six extra weeks of unemployment benefits for out-of-work residents – an extension the Republican legislature already passed and the governor already vetoed.

If she wants to make a difference for families, she should start by opening the economy. Workers should not be forced to beg their government to let them survive.


Tony Daunt
Executive Director
Michigan Freedom Fund