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Responses to Gov. Snyder's State of the State Address
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Collected below are the responses as they come in to us regarding the State of the State Address from Thursday night.
"I am proud of the governor for putting forward a positive plan of action that builds on a foundation of economic success and recognizes that even with all our accomplishments we still have work to do to resolve all our challenges.
"During the past three years, weve achieved much in building a stronger, more vibrant Michigan. Our leadership and thoughtful reforms put Michigan on the path to economic prosperity and financial stability. As a result, Michigan has added jobs every year and gone from billion-dollar deficits to a $970 million surplus.
"Our task now is to remain cautious and responsible and ensure we wisely use our resources in a manner that meets our most pressing needs and invests in our hard-working families. I support the governors ideas of increasing our investments in fixing our roads, teaching our children, keeping our communities safe and giving needed tax relief to all Michigan residents.
"I also commend the governor for placing an emphasis on protecting Michigans unique and delicate natural resources. Invasive species continue to threaten our environment and we must continue to fight to contain them or keep them out.
"I have long championed applied learning in schools as a way to prepare students for college while giving them the hands-on training needed for well-paying jobs already available throughout Michigan. I applaud the governor for adding his voice to the call for schools to work together with local businesses and colleges to prepare students for successful careers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). I look forward to enacting my legislation, Senate Bill 66, to help encourage this effort."
--State Sen. John Proos
"The governor tonight highlighted the successes weve had in Michigan the past several years while offering some appropriate challenges as well.
"The states economy continues to improve. We have added more than 220,000 jobs since 2011, and we are fourth in the nation in private-sector job growth from 2010 through 2012.
"But the governor did more than note our economic victories. I was happy to hear him point out the serious challenge posed by invasive species. A bill I sponsored last year addressing this issue is now state law. The measure allows local governments to implement tax increment financing to collect money for a variety of waterfront improvement activities, including invasive species.
"It has been a productive time in Michigan, and I think our best is yet to come. I am committed to building a better Michigan and look forward to working with Governor Snyder to continue passing real reforms."
--State Sen. Geoff Hansen
"The State of the State address, along with last weeks Revenue Estimating Conference, show clearly that our states economy is turning around, and we are on the path to a brighter future here in Michigan.
But we cannot rest. We must continue to deliver results while being careful with the money we have been entrusted with by our hard-working taxpayers. There is still much to be done including paying off our long-term debt, finding ways to provide tax relief to our citizens and continuing to deliver an accountable and transparent government and I look forward to tackling these tough issues in the coming year.
--State Rep. Pete MacGregor
"Governor Snyder highlighted tonight his goals for 2014 and some key accomplishments we have made to turn Michigan into the Comeback State. Employment is growing, our population is rising, and crime is declining. These are real results that I am proud of, but we have more work to do. I look forward to working with the Governor and my colleagues in the legislature to ensure an effective, efficient government the hardworking taxpayers of this state deserve."
--State Rep. Lisa Posthumus-Lyons
"Tonights address highlighted just how far Michigan has come in a few short years. Instead of fearing billion dollar deficits and looming shutdowns, Michigan is able to come together and celebrate hundreds of thousands of new jobs and a state government that works.
"Gov. Snyder and our leaders in the state Legislature deserve credit for making the hard decisions that needed to be made to turn this state around, and showing a willingness to continue pursuing positive reforms that will keep Michigans comeback going strong."
--Greg McNeilly, President of Michigan Freedom Fund
Regarding an early warning system to identify local governments in fiscal difficulty:
"Michigans townships have performed laudably in maintaining strong financial positions in spite of massive challenges from state revenue sharing cuts and declining property tax revenues. However, any local government that experiences fiscal difficulty negatively impacts other communities as well. The Michigan Townships Association supports and looks forward to assisting in the development and implementation of a monitoring system to help local governments proactively predict or detect and effectively address problems such as an inability to generate sufficient revenue to fund current or desired service levels, unsustainable long-term obligations, and an inability to provide and sustain a service level that citizens require and desire."
Regarding budget surplus:
"MTA appreciates Governor Snyders caution in using the states projected budget surplus. We hope that investing in repairing Michigans poor roads is recognized as a way Michiganians can take care of each other. Better roads will save lives and save money on car repairs."
--Larry Merrill, Executive Director of the Michigan Townships Association
"What Michigan needs right now are good schools and good jobs to help strengthen the middle class and rebuild our economy. Instead, all we heard tonight was more happy talk from a Governor whos clearly out of touch. With the third worst unemployment rate in the country and Michigan ranked 49th in job growth, we need a Governor who understands that the key to a strong economy is a strong middle class. As Governor, Ill invest in our highly-skilled workers and small businesses so that they can compete for the jobs of today, and invest in education so that our children can compete for the jobs of tomorrow."
--Presumptive 2014 Democratic Gubernatorial Nominee Mark Schauer
"Tonights State of the State speech was remarkable for the important topics that were omitted. Governor Snyder failed to address the priorities that matter most for working families.
"Michigan has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Yet Snyders policies continue to giveaway tax dollars to corporate special interests without any firm commitments for job creation. These bargains for CEOs are coming at the expense of seniors, students and workers.
"The governor also failed to answer the ongoing transparency questions raised by the NERD Fund, SB 661, and excessive pay at the top of the state payroll."
--Michigan AFL-CIO President Karla Swift
"Agriculture is one of Michigans Big Three industries, according to Governor Snyder, and its a major driver of Michigans economy. The agriculture sector and all of Michigans industries depend on reliable transportation infrastructure. Investing in Michigans roads, bridges, rail and water transportation is critical if we want our agriculture sector to continue growing and creating jobs. We applaud Governor Snyder for his continued commitment to strengthening Michigans economy."
--Gail Frahm, executive director of the Michigan Soybean Association
"Gov. Snyder talking about a Michigan comeback is like someone trying to sell you a pair of crutches after theyve pushed you down the stairs and doing it with a smile on his face. As the most trusted profession, trust is sacred to nurses and we are disgusted at having a Governor who betrayed Michigans working families. Our patients will continue to suffer until Michigan has a Governor who doesnt make taking care of his wealthy friends his top priority."
--John Armelagos, RN, President of the Michigan Nurses Association
"Michiganders shouldn't have to wait for clean air, clean water and clean energy jobs, but that is exactly what Governor Snyder said tonight. The health of our children and the legacy of the Great Lakes are at risk, while Michigan money is being used to buy out-of-state dirty fossil fuels because Governor Snyder and the Legislature refuse to take meaningful action. Waiting until 2015 or beyond to propose a substantive energy policy is the wrong decision for Michigan residents."
--Mike Berkowitz, Legislative Director for the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter.
"Healthy women and families nurture stronger communities and are the key to revitalizing Michigans economy and the future well-being of our state. Yet, Michigan ranks in the bottom half of the states on key measures of maternal and infant health. We hoped that the Governor would have taken this important opportunity to address the critical lack of access to womens health care services one quarter of Michigan counties to not have a practicing OB/GYN. Whats more, over half of all pregnancies are unintended in Michigan and cost taxpayers $282 million annually. At the same time, every dollar invested in family planning saves the state $6.37 in Medicaid costs in the first year alone. We urge the governor to invest in prevention policies that increase access to affordable health care services. Its good for women, its good for families, its good for taxpayers and its good for Michigan."
--Meghan Groen, Director of Government Relations, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan
"Lawmakers continue to ignore long overdue repairs to Michigans infrastructure and we need Governor Snyder to show leadership, on this issue in 2014. Thousands of trained Laborers across the state are ready to hit the streets, literally, to build and repair Michigans roads making them safer for our family, friends and neighbors.
"By truly prioritizing and repairing Michigan roads, Governor Snyder would be encouraging job growth by enhancing the quality of life needed to make the state more attractive to businesses.
"We hope the Governor will address other important issues as well, stated Alessandrini. Reinstating the six weeks of unemployment benefits the Governor cut should be a priority. If we can pay Andy Dillon his entire salary for eight weeks after he resigned his post as treasurer, we should be able to pay hard working Michiganders when they find themselves out of work through no fault of their own."
--Geno Alessandrini, Business Manager of the Michigan Laborers District Council
"Tonight, Governor Rick Snyder disappointed every person across Michigan who values public education. Unfortunately for Michigan schools, his rhetoric doesn't pay the bills. He failed to address how he was going to reverse the devastating funding cuts to neighborhood schools and public colleges and universities. If Snyder truly believes that education is a priority, then he would find a way to undo his debilitating funding cuts to schools that were used to pay for a tax giveaway to big businesses and he would use the budget surplus to properly fund every level of education in Michigan."
--David Hecker, President of the American Federation of Teachers, Michigan
"During Gov. Snyder's fourth State of the State we heard, once again, from Snyder how he's more interested in helping big business and campaign contributors than middle class families," said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. "However, It's not just what Snyder did say during his speech, but his continued silence on minimum wage, equal pay, and equality for LGBT individuals that spoke louder than his relentless rhetoric tonight."
--Lonnie Scott, Executive Director of Progress Michigan