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Whitmer to deliver third State of the State Wednesday: Here's what to expect

The address will look very different Wednesday evening. It will not take place at a crowded Capitol in front of both chambers, instead it will be held virtually.

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to deliver her third State of the State address Wednesday, Jan. 27. 

This year's address will look very different. It will not take place at a crowded Capitol in front of both chambers, instead it will be held virtually at 7 p.m. to comply with current COVID-19 safety protocols. 

The address is where she will lay out her legislative agenda for 2021. However, expect the governor to focus on the challenges that have plagued the state for the better part of a year.

On her website, Whitmer says she "will reflect on actions she has taken as governor to support Michiganders, eradicating COVID-19 and strengthening the state’s economy, and fixing the road ahead." Education is always a key topic in the State of the State address. Whitmer may provide updates and possibly more detail about her plan to have all schools resume in-person instruction by March 1.  

Whitmer has not released an advance copy of her speech, however she is expected to touch on topics such as vaccine rollout, economic support for Michigan businesses, and the state of Michigan's economy. Whitmer may provide updates and possibly more detail about her plan to have all schools resume in-person instruction by March 1.  

The Associated Press says Whitmer will seek "common ground" with the Republican-led Legislature. The Democrat plans to pitch a multibillion-dollar pandemic relief plan that would prioritize coronavirus vaccinations and additional aid to schools and businesses. 

She'll also urge approval of a $500 million initiative to upgrade water and wastewater infrastructure and call for passage of bills to let counties levy local fuel and vehicle registration taxes if authorized by voters. 

Whitmer told The Associated Press there's “light at the end of the tunnel” amid a pandemic that has contributed to the deaths of more than 15,300 residents.

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