Nearing 100 days, Whitmer looks at the rest of the year

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Nearly 100 days into her second term, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is eying what still needs to get done in 2023.

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One thing is the budget process, the Legislature's biggest single job each year.

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"I want get the budget done, especially the education budget, done as early as we can," Whitmer, who hits the 100-day mark Monday, told News 8 Thursday in an interview at the Governor's Mansion in Lansing. "So as our school districts are starting to build their plan and hire for next school year, that they have some certainty of what that's going to look like."

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Asked if her fellow Democrats who control the state Legislature for the first time in decades might adjourn the Legislature earlier than usual, Whitmer said she couldn't say what they might do but that she's "always in a hurry to get as much good stuff done as we can and I know that they both subscribe to that belief as well."

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"I've served in a lot of late legislatures at the end of the year and my experience has been it's often not the most productive, constructive time. So I think the more that we can do earlier on this year, the better," she added.

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If the Legislature were to end session early this year, it would be part of the process to move up Michigan's presidential primary. As things stand now, the bill making that happen goes into effect 90 days after the end of the session, so the Legislature must leave in time for it apply for 2024 and get the ballots out in time.

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"My hope is that the leadership in the Senate will come to some sort of an agreement about giving bills immediate effect," Whitmer said. "This is something that as the minority leader myself, at one time, we routinely gave bills immediate effect, even bills that we didn't agree on the substance of. So I think we've got to get back to respecting the institution, supporting the government, moving as fast as people expect it to move and that remains to be negotiated."

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