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Michigan Republicans pleased with Whitmer's call for unity

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The Legislature’s Republican leaders say they were pleased to hear Governor Gretchen Whitmer call for unity and bipartisanship in Wednesday night’s State of the State address. But the GOP leaders also say they’re not convinced Whitmer means what she said.

Republicans have taken issue with the governor’s use of executive orders and public health orders to enact COVID-19 restrictions. GOP leaders say they’re ready to use the Legislature’s budget power to force Whitmer to bargain.

House Speaker Jason Wentworth said he’s still waiting on details from the governor.

“So I look forward to her new spirit of cooperation here, but she has no plan,” said Wentworth.

Whitmer held her own event, and said the state’s COVID response relies on a complex set of data -- tracking spread, mortality rates --  and a multitude of other factors that can force changes in plans.

“It’s the hardest thing to wrap your head around, but that’s the issue here,” Whitmer says.

The governor did say it’s possible an announcement on high school contact sports could be coming in “weeks or days.”

Rick Pluta is the Capitol Bureau Chief for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He is heard daily on WCMU's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.