Will The Governor Suffer Buyer’s Remorse Over The No-Fault Reform Bill?

Editors' Note: MIRS asked a panel of political pundits four questions about the no-fault auto insurance reform bill, John James, Attorney General Dana Nessel's stance on Line 5 and repealing "Pension Tax".

Q. Will Gov. Gretchen Whitmer regret signing the no-fault auto insurance reform bill?

Jen EYER, a partner at Vanguard Public Affairs, said the no-fault deal was a positive outcome for the Governor, but close scrutiny and follow-up will be needed. "Regardless of whether you agree with the bill, it was a legislative accomplishment for Gov. Whitmer," Eyer said. "In negotiating and getting the bill through the legislature, she proved that she can work with lawmakers and get things done. However, there has been significant concern and criticism from many of her most full-throated supporters. I would imagine her team will monitor the outcome of the new system carefully, and push for changes in the future if it turns out that rates don't decrease substantially or that people with catastrophic injuries need further assistance."

Q. Is it smart for John James to delay announcing what position he’s running for in 2020?

According to Eyer, James should either fish or cut bait. "It's not smart if he is planning to take on a Democratic incumbent," Eyer said. "He should be building his war chest and his name recognition. On both scores, he’s far behind, perhaps too far to catch up at this point."

Q. Does the aggressive stance Attorney General Dana Nessel has taken on Line 5 ultimately help or hinder the Governor’s approach on that issue?

Eyer asserts that what the Attorney General is doing backs up the Governor’s efforts. "Dana Nessel's aggressive stance on Line 5 helps strengthen Gov. Whitmer’s negotiating position," Eyer said. "Nessel’s short timeline is creating urgency for Enbridge, and with that urgency comes a weakened hand at the negotiating table with the governor. Enbridge does not want this to end up in court, where they have everything to lose."

Q. Is the "Pension Tax" repeal already a dead issue?

"I wouldn’t say pension tax repeal is dead yet, but it might be in purgatory," Eyer observed. "Both sides campaigned on the issue in 2018, but only Gov. Whitmer has put forth a plan to repeal it and replace the lost revenue. Given all the other budget priorities -- most importantly infrastructure and schools -- this one is likely to get pushed to the back burner again. If that happens, we'll see it trotted out again in 2020, but only the Democrats will have a legitimate stance on the issue."


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