Local Lawmaker, Democrats Respond To Governor's State Of The State Speech
January 24, 2018
Governor Rick Snyder delivered his 8th State of the State address to a joint session of the Michigan Legislature Tuesday night – with a local lawmaker and Democrat weighing in.
Republican State Senator Joe Hune of Fowlerville said the governor did a good job of giving kudos to some of the economic metrics he feels are important including 540,000 new private sector jobs created, manufacturing job growth, increased home values and significant pension liability reform. Hune says some really positive things for the state were highlighted, noting for the first time years there are actually more people are moving into the state instead of out. He also noted new initiatives related to recycling, rural broadband access, and preventing invasive species like Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes.
Hune said overall in terms of economics, he feels Michigan is doing absolutely phenomenal but there were two big issues of concern where he felt the governor could have done more. Those include the Michigan State University sexual assault scandal involving former campus sports doctor Dr. Larry Nassar as well as the Flint water crisis. Hune says several years ago, the Snyder administration said they would lower the allowance of lead and copper in municipal drinking water, which still hasn’t been done and is a travesty. With MSU, Hune says he adamantly believes the governor should have called for President Anna Lou Simon’s “head” but unfortunately he didn’t do that.
Dan Luria is vice chair of strategy for the Livingston County Democratic Party, saying he gives credit where due because the governor called out the Republican Legislature for pushing tax cuts when more revenue is needed for schools, roads, water infrastructure and skilled trades training. Luria felt the speech had a civil tone and feels the governor is a decent guy who would have liked to do more but in many cases simply didn’t have the resources because of the unfortunate decision of having a needlessly large and poorly designed business tax cut from the beginning - money that could have been available for things like roads, schools or water infrastructure so the Flint situation doesn’t happen again.
Luria felt some items absent from the speech included political debate about a higher minimum wage, restricting fracking, shutting down Enbridge Line 5 under the Straits of Mackinac, and school class sizes. He noted the governor highlighted more than 40 initiatives but many were very small, concepts or pilots. A formal statement is attached.
The governor touted Michigan's economic and fiscal gains under his watch, saying his tenure has had "huge ups and downs" but Michigan is better shape today than before he took office. Meanwhile, a fight is shaping up with the GOP-led Legislature on cutting individual taxes, which Snyder opposes for budgetary reasons. (JM)