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Whitmer says her budget plan builds on work to close racial health gaps

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Whitmer says her budget plan builds on work to close racial health gaps

Feb 08, 2024 | 3:47 pm ET
By Ken Coleman
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Whitmer says her budget plan builds on work to close racial health gaps
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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in Detroit, Feb. 8, 2024 | Ken Coleman

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday outlined elements of her state budget proposal with Detroit parents. 

“This budget is focused on producing outcomes for children and for families throughout Michigan,” Whitmer said during the gathering.   

Whitmer says her budget plan builds on work to close racial health gaps
Detroit Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Detroit Parent Network CEO Jametta Lilly in Detroit, Feb. 8, 2024 | Ken Coleman

The community and press event was hosted by Detroit Parent Network, an education-centered nonprofit. Detroit Deputy Mayor Todd Bettison attended the gathering along with about 100 parents, grandparents and others. 

Whitmer on Wednesday announced an $80.7 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget proposal, the sixth of her administration, with free preschool and community college as the centerpiece proposals.

“We know healthcare isn’t just about access, it’s about equity,”Whitmer posted on X  after her one-hour visit. “My budget builds on our work to close racial health gaps. It continues Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies, expands Doula [a person trained to advise, inform, and offer emotional and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and after the birth of her child] and healthy pregnancy services, and supports neighborhood health centers and mobile health units.”

DPN CEO Jametta Lilly described the Whitmer budget as “phenomenal.” 

“We have leadership at the state [government level] that believe that parents’ voices are essential in order for us to have information that empowers our children,” Lilly said. 

Detroit is 77% African American and about 8% Latino. 

Whitmer is scheduled to attend a Detroit Economic Club meeting next Wednesday to continue her public conversation about her proposal.