LANSING (WWJ) – Governor Rick Snyder delivered his final State of the State address in Lansing Tuesday evening.
He 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.
He told a joint session of the Legislature that next week he will unveil five major policy initiatives related to rural broadband access, recycling, Asian carp in the Great Lakes, water infrastructure and the replacement of money that has dried up for environmental cleanup. And in February, he will detail a “Marshall Plan” for developing talent.
During his eighth and final State of the State address Tuesday evening Snyder spoke about one of the biggest projects coming to Detroit in the coming years: A new bridge to Canada:
“We have a wonderful working relationship with Canada … but 2018 will be a big year. The contract with the builder will be signed and the ground-breaking will occur. I am looking forward to working with our Candian partners to start construction right here in Detroit on the Gordie Howe International Bridge.”
The bridge comes with a price tag in the billions.
Snyder touted business tax cuts quoting an article by the Wall Street Journal.
“‘See the fiscal crack-ups in Connecticut and Illinois — Michigan on the other hand offers a case study in the pro-growth potential of business tax reform.’ Folks, we’re back and we’re only going to keep going up,” he touted.
Goals for his last year in office include proposing a “Marshall Plan” to develop talent – which he plans to detail in coming weeks.
He referenced the losing the bid for the Amazon headquarters saying ‘we can do better,’ to tie into the Career Path Initiative and a “call for all schools, businesses, universities, communities – everyone out there involved in this to say, we can do things better, differently and in team work.”
Gilda Jacobs, a former Democratic member of the Michigan Senate, and current CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy … which advocates for low income families.
Jacobs says with many families still living in “deep poverty” Lansing lawmakers need to balance the needs of the “social safety net” with their desire for tax cuts.
State Senator Jim Ananich offered this as a response to the Governor’s speech: “The future is too important to leave in the hands of an unaccountable accountant and a party that is more concerned with going backward then moving forward — the time has come when we must decide if we are going to accept the status-quo or if we are going to fight to preserve the progress of those who came before us.”
A year ago, he proposed no big legislative initiatives – instead touting the Medicaid expansion and progress in Flint, where his administration has primarily been blamed for the crisis with lead-tainted water.
“A good speech,” said Sandy Baruah CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.
“He is not a politician and it’s very clear that he’s just a CPA trying to solve problems looking at facts and that has been very refreshing. That’s why the business community has been very happy with him, he’s easy to talk to – we speak his language. He has never vocally criticized anybody.”
Snyder cannot run again because of term limits and is at odds with lawmakers who want to cut individual income taxes.
© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.