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State of the State: Snyder says Michigan's comeback continues
Thursday, January 16, 2014
LANSING, Mich. — Michigan will fuel its impressive comeback through innovations such as a statewide system for training and educating skilled technicians, attracting global talent and reinventing the way in which services to residents in need are provided, Gov. Rick Snyder said in his fourth State of the State address.
“The Michigan of 2014 is an exciting place to be,” Snyder said. “It’s a new year and we have new ideas that will keep our comeback in high gear. Whether it’s encouraging the creation of more and better jobs, preparing children for tomorrow’s opportunities, protecting our precious natural resources or supporting residents with special needs, we’ll work collaboratively across the state to find Michigan solutions to Michigan challenges. I appreciate the Legislature’s work in moving our state forward and we’ll continue that partnership in the months ahead.”
Michigan’s Dashboard, implemented by Snyder in 2011, shows progress on several fronts. For example, the state leads all others in the growth of manufacturing jobs. Michigan has added nearly 221,000 private-sector jobs since December 2010. Michigan’s per capita personal income growth rate is tied for No. 1 among Great Lakes states. In addition, Michigan’s population has marked the first consecutive years’ growth since 2003-04.
“Michigan is a leader, not a follower,” Lt. Gov. Brian Calley said. “You can see that approach in our bold agenda, which is delivering real results for real people. Our path to success is built on a foundation of fiscal responsibility, tax fairness and good government. It’s a blueprint that has made Michigan the comeback state, and one that would serve Washington well.”
Snyder said policymakers and stakeholders must continue working together to accelerate Michigan’s positive momentum through creativity and shared vision.
The governor called for:
More and Better Jobs
Continuing the administration’s laser focus on creating an environment that encourages job growth and prosperity. This includes:
• Expanding the Michigan Advanced Technician Training (MAT2) program, an employer-driven initiative that helps employers bridge the “skills gap” through a statewide system for training and educating skilled technicians to fill high-paying jobs. Henry Ford Community College and Oakland Community College will serve as pilot locations for the program, which is a unique model that also includes best practices from
• Continuing the successful Community Ventures program, a public/private/nonprofit partnership created to hire at least 1,000 structurally unemployed residents from distressed neighborhoods, initially in the cities of Flint, Detroit, Pontiac and Saginaw. First-year goals have been met, resulting in jobs for over 1,400 structurally unemployed residents.
21st Century Education
• Encouraging schools to consider a voluntary program in which they would extend classes year-round, rather than interrupting student learning with a three-month summer break. It can take weeks for many children to recover the information they learned prior to leaving for the traditional summer vacation, which delays the learning of new and urged further action.
• Implementing recommendations of the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness.The council recommended a fair and rigorous means to evaluate the skills of teachers using a combination of observed classroom practice and measured student growth.
• Making Michigan a leader in promoting STEM programs in schools and colleges. Jobs are robust in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Michigan must do a better job of aligning education with economic trends and inevitabilities.
Quality of Life
• Michigan should become a “no wait state” for seniors who qualify for home-delivered meals and in-home services. Nearly 4,500 seniors are not receiving the in-home services – including home-delivered meals – that they need. In Southeastern Michigan, half of the people qualifying for services must wait six months or more to receive services. The governor will propose additional funding in his recommended budget to eliminate this waiting list. The governor also announced that he will prepare a special message outlining opportunities to reinvent the way in which Michigan provides services to seniors.
• Lawmakers should pass pending bills that provide consumer protections for seniors.
• Adopting recommendations of the Mental Health and Wellness Report will help people with mental illness, substance abuse disorders or developmental disabilities to lead more independent lives. Recommendations include developing a Pure Michigan marketing strategy to highlight opportunities for families living with disabilities, and having Michigan join the “Spread the Word to End the Word” movement, which seeks to rid our vocabulary of derogatory terms regarding people dealing with mental illness.
• The quality of life for nearly half-a-million Michiganders will be enhanced now that the federal government has approved the Healthy Michigan Plan. By improving access to affordable health care coverage, Healthy Michigan also will reduce uncompensated care that shifts costs onto businesses and taxpayers.
• Significant progress is being made in reducing the crime rates in Pontiac, Detroit, Saginaw and Flint. While the rates remain unacceptably high, it’s clear that the state and local partnership under the Secure Cities Initiative is having an impact. In the first 10 months of 2013, violent crimes declined by 30 percent in Flint; 16 percent in Saginaw; 7 percent in Detroit and 6.5 percent in Pontiac.
Protecting Our Environment and Natural Resources
Ensuring the protection of Michigan’s natural resources while allowing for their wise use. The governor called for:
• The state enhance its “early warning system” to assist communities and schools facing financial instability. Creating strong financial intervention teams, housed within the departments of Treasury and Education, will allow for earlier intervention strategies. This is in the best interests of children and taxpayers.
• While continuing to be fiscally responsible in the short and long term, it is appropriate to provide some tax relief to hard-working families. Michigan has come a long way in three years. The state’s fiscal health has improved due to the tough but necessary decisions that have been made. The governor will make an FY 15 budget recommendation that eases the burden on low- and middle-income families so that they can continue to share in Michigan’s comeback.
• All partners continue working together to address the tough problems confronting Detroit that were 60 years in the making, and achieving resolutions for the benefit of our largest city’s residents.
Visit www.michigan.gov/snyder for more information on the State of the State address and Michigan’s comeback. Join the conversation on Twitter at #misots.
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