Reaction to State of State Address breaks along party lines
State Representatives Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton) and Kate Segal (D-Battle Creek) offered differing reactions to Governor Rick Snyder's address.
Governor Snyder's speech included plans for expanding pre-school, a pilot program for year-around school and said the state budget surplus should be used for tax relief. But did not offer a specific proposal. He also called for a more welcoming environment for immigrants.
Nesbitt says the state needs to provide opportunities for immigrants. Nesbitt and the governor say that can help the state's economy.
Segal says a welcoming environment for immigrants would be an area where the governor could count on some Democratic support, depending on the details. But Segal says the state should amend the Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act to be more welcoming and diverse. There has been debate over amending the state's civil rights law to include protections for gays and lesbians.
Nesbitt says the state should treat its budget surplus the way a family would use an infusion of cash. He says that includes paying down debt and putting some money in savings. but Nesbitt says the money belongs to the taxpayers, and there should be tax relief out of a projected budget surplus.
Segal says she would support tax relief to seniors. She says seniors have had to pay more because of a tax on pensions added in 2011. The governor called for tax relief to benefit low and middle income workers. Segal says that the state should increase the minimum wage to help working class families. Snyder did not raise that issue in his State of the State Address.