Five takeaways from Gov. Snyder's final State of the State
In his final State of the State address, Gov. Rick Snyder touched upon 2017 issues and future initiatives Tuesday night for his constituents in the Michigan Capitol House Chambers.
Snyder reflected on the work Michigan lawmakers accomplished in the past years. Similar to last year’s address, Snyder weighed in on Michigan’s future and the progress left to be made.
Here are five takeaways from Snyder’s speech:
Campus Sexual Assault and Nassar
Snyder addressed the sexual abuse committed by ex-MSU and USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.
“Let us also apply a similar commitment in the Nassar case and reach out and support courageous survivors and ensure that cases like this never happen again,” Snyder said.
Snyder made a reference to Michigan First Lady Sue Snyder’s efforts to combat campus sexual assault. The first lady made her tenure project campus sexual assault and education.
Sue Snyder raised $1.6 million to educate people on sexual assault and for survivor assistance. In November 2015, the first lady gave $12,000 to MSU to focus on campus sexual assault.
Reflection on Growth
Snyder’s speech began with statistics of recent successes in Michigan, namely the state’s job and income growth.
Since 2010, Michigan created 540,000 private-sector jobs and 122,800 manufacturing jobs, the most growth in manufacturing jobs in the U.S., Snyder said.
Michigan has the second-most diverse agricultural industry in the nation, which the wine and craft beer industries contributed to, he said.
“Our comeback has been tremendous,” Snyder said. “Now we’re accelerating this comeback to the future. We have taken our challenges and made them opportunities.”
Snyder transitioned to Michigan’s work to help students “flourish,” citing early middle college and teacher development initiatives.
FIRST Robotics, a high school program that allows students to apply science and engineering skills, became part of the progress in Michigan schools last year, Snyder said. FIRST Robotics students in Northern Michigan came together to build a Power Wheels car for Jeremiah Nelson of Central Lake, who was born with spina bifida.
Snyder also highlighted work on career exploration courses for students in Michigan schools.
Snyder’s address reflected on infrastructure issues in Michigan, from past years and current, acknowledging there is more work to be done throughout the state.
“We can do better than what we’ve already committed,” Snyder said. “Let’s get rid of those potholes.”
Construction on I-75 and the Gordie Howe International Bridge in Detroit will occur this year, Snyder said. Construction on I-75 can be reduced by a decade if Michigan doesn’t use a “24-hour” solution to traffic issues, he said.
Water test results for the city of Flint reported six parts per billion of lead, Snyder said. Public work on legislation for copper and lead levels in public water will continue.
Funding for the Pure Michigan campaign increased 36 percent in the past year, and is succeeding because passes to state parks in the Upper Peninsula are up 58 percent, Snyder said.
Next week, Snyder will roll out new initiatives each day. The initiatives include management of Asian carp and recycling, he said.
“Let’s get together as Michiganders … to protect the Great Lakes,” Snyder said.