WXYZ-TV - Give Governor Rick Snyder an “8” on his first State of the State speech. He’s not a silver tongued orator, but he got his message across in an effective manner. Most importantly, he seems sincere in what he wants to accomplish.
The businessman turned politician is obviously a big fan of measurements. It’s how he wants his administration to be judged. If he gets most of his economic road map through the State Legislature, Michigan’s drive into the future could be a lot smoother.
It was refreshing to hear the Governor say he was establishing a cabinet level position to oversee a new state Office of Urban Initiatives for Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and Saginaw. To Snyder’s credit, he believes an aggressive urban agenda will benefit the entire state. He’s right.
Extending a welcome mat to highly educated immigrants is also a step in the right direction. The history of this country is rich with stories about immigrants who worked hard to successfully experience the American dream.
And if jobs are indeed Governor Snyder’s number one priority, he is wise to support the Detroit River International Crossing bridge project. Ten thousand jobs are at stake. But getting DRIC through the Michigan Legislature and side-stepping Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel (Matty) Moroun will be an interesting battle to watch.
Now here’s where Governor Snyder came up short in his speech. He never mentioned Michigan’s projected $1.8 billion deficit and he was extremely vague about what programs he would cut to help balance the state’s budget. Michigan’s fiscal picture is ugly. Governor Snyder will have to deal with more than the elimination of the Michigan Business Tax and the creation of a 6 percent corporate income tax to put the state on solid financial footing. He knows that and all eyes will be on his upcoming two-year budget presentation he’ll have to reveal in a couple weeks.
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