7 Highlights from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address
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Gov. Rick Snyder on Tuesday delivered his fifth State of the State address, talking about many of the issues facing the state and his plans to fix them.
Here is an outline of what Snyder said:
• According to Snyder, we need to work on transportation: one in nine bridges is structurally deficient. Our roads and bridges are in bad condition and need to be fixed. This is a public safety issue. He asked citizens to vote yes on the ballot proposal in May. The proposal that would increase sales tax from 6% to 7%. This would make the roads safer, the schools better, and Michigan better, according to Snyder.
• He then went on to talk about the "River of Opportunity," which would allow all citizens to stand on their own, to make a better life for themselves. He would like to restructure government to help create opportunities of success for people. It's not just about government, it's about a community. The measurement of success is "how many people have moved into the mainstream so they can be successful." There will be an executive order issued soon to merge the Department of Health and the Department of Human Services into the Department of Health and Human Services to better assist the citizens of Michigan.
• There needs to be a stronger focus on education in 2015, Snyder said. A main focus this year will be increasing the number of third graders who are able to read. There also needs to be a focus put on higher education. Michigan will improve career counseling this year. The Legislature this year will work to give teachers as many resources as possible.
• Snyder would like to focus on more and better jobs. He would also like to focus on lowering the number of residents addicted to drugs.
• There needs to be a scorecard for all municipalities so less communities will need financial managers, according to Snyder. There are seven communities that once had a financial manager that no longer need one. The Governor would like to make finances more transparent.
• The road map for the year ahead will begin with a presentation of the budget in February. In March there will be statewide summit on jobs and education. In May there will be a special message on criminal justice. There will also be an effort to decrease drug use this summer.
• Michiganders must set energy policy needs for the state, Snyder said. It will take all citizens working together to make energy affordable and reliable.