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2022 Mackinac Policy Conference: Pete Buttigieg discusses investment into Michigan roads

The Sec. of Transportation was on the island Wed.
Posted at 8:03 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-01 20:03:59-04

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. — The annual Mackinac Policy Conference is a time for state and federal officials to come together and discuss issues through a bipartisan lens. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was in attendance with Governor Gretchen Whitmer discussing roads, infrastructure and inflation.

On an island that's famous for not allowing vehicles, vehicles and roads were a hot topic at the conference Wednesday. It's an issue Michiganders care about.

The Detroit Chamber, who hosts the conference, recently conducted a poll and asked Michigan residents to open-handedly state what issues impact them the most. The top issue is the economy and the growing inflation, but closely followed by roads and infrastructure.

Poll: Most Important Issues Facing Michigan
Poll: Most Important Issues Facing Michigan

“This summer is going to be our busiest construction season ever," Gov. Whitmer said. “We are committed to work together as we work to address and rebuild our infrastructure."

Sec. Buttigieg says Michigan will have federal help rebuilding with the $1 trillion federal Infrastructure Law that will provide Michigan with billions of dollars to help with roads, road safety and electric vehicles and chargers.

"Today union workers are building some of the best EV’s in the world," Sec. Buttigieg said. "New pickup trucks that are going to bring the cost of going electric down to even more Americans."

It was also a busy day for Michigan lawmakers at the conference, who sat down and had panel discussions on hot button issues like abortion and gun control.

“The emphasis of the conference is talking about how we can work together and through some very tough issues. We tackled what some want to do on the gun control side, obviously that horrific tragedy in Uvalde," Congressman Bill Huizenga said in a one on one interview with FOX 17.

Congressman Huizenga also weighing in on that contentious GOP race for governor that's been turned on its feet. Five of the original 10 GOP candidates for governor were cut from the running after the Michigan Board of State Canvassers found they had insufficient or fraudulent signatures from registered voters to get on the ballot. The candidates arguing they had hired private companies to seek out the signatures, unaware of any fraudulent activity.

And even though Huizenga only needs 1,000 signatures to run in his district compared to the 15,000 signatures the candidates for governor need, he says the candidates should've been more stringent and checked the signatures themselves.

"They did it to themselves. The board did not do this, they did it to themselves by not having those signatures. Whether it be the proper number or frankly whether there's the fraud involved or who they hired to do that," the Congressman said.

Three of the candidates, including front runners James Craig and Perry Johnson, filed lawsuits to get back on the ballot. The Michigan Court of Appeals rejected Johnson's and GOP candidate Michael Markey's suits. As of Wednesday, Craig's lawsuit is still pending.

Craig and Johnson were supposed to debate on Mackinac Island Thursday with Garret Soldano and Kevin Rinke. Now, they've been replaced by Tudor Dixon, whom the Devos family and Ralph Rebandt recently endorsed.

The winner of the GOP primary in August will face off against Governor Gretchen Whitmer in the general election.

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