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Recapping the stories from the State of the State Address

(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Many people are still talking about Gov. Snyder's State of the State Address Thursday night.

But Friday, the economy remains firmly at the center of the debate.

It's a theme that observers will be following in the ten months leading up to election day--Democrats challenge what Governor Snyder offered in his speech Thursday night, saying he hasn't done the job in creating jobs.

Snyder spent half of his speech, as he has during his previous three State of the State addresses, looking back at his accomplishments in 2013.

Thursday night's speech was one of the longest he's done, clocking in at just over an hour.

The Governor described Michigan repeatedly as the Comeback State, and said a number of economic indicators suggest Michigan's back on track and growing for the first time in years.

Democrats, including gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer said the Governor is out of touch and has built a big surplus on the backs of senior citizens, school children, and the poor.

As for the budget surplus of around $1 billion, Governor Snyder said he would approve of giving tax relief to those who needed it the most.

The back-and-forth on the economy will come up a great deal in the next few months.

Governor Snyder announced several other initiatives Thursday night, from year-round schooling for struggling schools to extra funding for early childhood education, to plans to attract new immigrants.

One of the issues the Governor mentioned is the subject of student truancy, or excessive absences from school--a subject the I-Team tackled this past year.

We found close to two-dozen school districts in West Michigan reported to the state that they had zero truant students, when in reality, we found documentation each school district actually had truant students.

As a result of our investigation, the Governor yanked the state's truancy rate off his dashboard after we proved it was incorrect, and he decided to take the time to ask lawmakers to create a new law to make sure the information is right in the future.

From several sources, we're told they're looking at a legislative fix to make sure school districts get it right, but one of the big challenges for all involved is to have an exact definition for what truancy is.

Newschannel 3 will stay on this and all the stories that came out of Thursday night's speech as we move toward Election Day 2014 and beyond.