LANSING, Mich. — Senate Health Policy and Human Services Committee Chair Curt VanderWall issued the following statement after listening to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2022 State of the State address virtually Wednesday evening:
“I was happy to hear the governor voice her support for expanding mental health services across the state. The plan, which she referenced, came from my very own bill, Senate Bill 246, which passed the Senate unanimously. Many folks know of the dire need for medical professionals that communities have faced in the wake of coronavirus, but fewer know about the critical need for mental health services that the pandemic has left. This bill helps address both of these needs by allowing medical and mental health professionals to practice in rural communities and have portions of their student debt forgiven. I’m optimistic that this plan will help people of all ages access the services they need.
“I look forward to working with the governor and anyone else who shares my passion for this important issue. I’m proud the governor chose to use my bill as an example of how we can support mental health in rural communities across our state.”
VanderWall, R-Ludington, also commented on the state’s slow economic recovery:
“We can’t discount the negative impact the governor’s policies have had on our small businesses. With six in 10 Michiganders believing that our economy is on the wrong track, it’s clear that her administration’s erratic shutdowns and misguided priorities have hurt the supply chain, workforce, and made things very difficult for families. Inflation continues to climb, food, gas, and heating prices are soaring, and in the meantime the governor continues to push feel good solutions that are hollow of any substance.
“I appreciate the governor discussing her priority of saving people money. All Michiganders, and especially our seniors, have faced significant economic hurdles. I hope that if we are going to look at tax relief that we should look to broadening the tent to help even more people. I look forward to continuing to work with the House, the Senate, and the administration to save people money, help families, and improve the lives of all Michiganders.”