LANSING (WWJ) – Governor Rick Snyder delivering his State of the State address in Lansing Thursday evening.
Among many topics, Snyder touted his efforts to get people back to work.
“In the last three years, we’ve added 221,000 private sector jobs. Not only that, we have led the nation, we’re number one, in adding manufacturing jobs. And for the first time, since 2006, our labor force is actually growing in the state of Michigan. That’s something to be proud of,” said Snyder.
Snyder also said for the first time in years, the population in the state is steady. In his fourth State of the State address, Snyder said things are improving in Michigan and more people are staying in the state.
“United Van Lines has done a survey for many years. For 16 years in a row, Michigan was classified in the high outbound category. We’ve just been re-classified in the balance category, people are staying again in Michigan,” said Snyder.
Gov. Snyder also announced a plan to make Michigan more welcoming to immigrants. His administration has applied to make Michigan the second state government to run a regional center for the “EB-5” visa program, with the goal of attracting talented immigrant entrepreneurs.
“How can we be more innovative and creative, to say if someone has the opportunity to come to our country, legally, lets hold our arms open and say come to Michigan. This is the place to be,” said Snyder.
The program designates businesses to recruit foreign investors for development projects. The investors get permanent U.S. residency for themselves and their families.
Snyder also pledged to free up more preschool slots for disadvantaged 4-year-olds — initiatives that were centerpieces of the Republican governor’s annual address. Snyder also touted the income growth for Michigan residents.
“How has per capita income done in the state of Michigan? For the first three quarters of 2013 we were number one, tied with Wisconsin, for income growth in the Great Lakes states. We were number seven in the nation for growth and personal income. That’s a whole lot better than being 50th, folks,” said the governor.
Meanwhile, the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy filing only got a passing mention, nearly an hour into the speech.
“The bankruptcy in Detroit is an ongoing issue. I’m not going to dwell on that here tonight, other than to say lets get it resolved this year. But one other Detroit issue that I’m proud to say, is I want to thank Mayor Bing for his service. But I also want to welcome and build a strong, lasting partnership with an outstanding individual who’s become the new mayor of Detroit, and I’d like to now welcome Mayor Mike Duggan,” said Snyder.
One success highlighted by Snyder is the results of the state targeting crime in four cities. He said violent crime in the first 10 months of 2013 was down 7 percent in Detroit, 30 percent in Flint, and 6.5 percent in Pontiac.
As expected, the governor saved many specifics of his plans for his budget proposal, which is three weeks away.
To hear the entire State of the State Address by Gov. Rick Snyder, click here.