Whitmer to convene 1st ‘quadrant’ meeting Wednesday

    Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer speaking at her inauguration at the Capitol, Jan. 1, 2019 | Nick Manes

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday will hold her first meeting with the four leaders of each legislative caucus, her spokeswoman confirmed to the Advance.

    Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

    Michigan has a divided government, with a Democratic governor and both houses of the Legislature led by Republicans. Whitmer has said it’s a priority to restart the “quadrant meetings,” which lapsed during Gov. Rick Snyder’s two terms with unified GOP control in Michigan.

    The quadrant meeting includes Whitmer, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) and House Minority Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills).

    While talking to reporters last week, Shirkey appeared somewhat lukewarm about the meetings, but said, “I can’t wait for the first one.”

    Last week, leaders got a somewhat promising report from financial experts about the state of the economy and Michigan finances. Negotiations for a new budget are expected to start soon. Leaders must have a budget for fiscal year 2020 in place by Oct. 1.

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    Susan J. Demas is an 18-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.
    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.

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