Governor Snyder delivered his State of the State address Wednesday night at the state Capitol in Lansing. Republican Representative Aric Nesbitt of Lawton and Democratic Representative Kate Segal of Battle Creek reacted to the speech Thursday morning.
They spoke separately with WMUK’s Gordon Evans. Some highlights.
Governor Snyder called for an additional $1.2-billion for road repairs in Michigan. Nesbitt says lawmakers need to look at the whole package on roads. He says the state needs to make sure money is being spent responsibly and effectively. Nesbitt says the state also needs to look at how it can have long lasting roads that are of good quality. He says the state should focus repairs on areas that have the most traffic and the most need.
Segal agrees that the roads need to be improved. But she says the governor is asking working people of this state to pay more - again. She says increasing vehicle registration fees hurts working people in the state. Segal says Democrats have been coming up with solutions, and there should be public hearings on this issue. She says if the state wants money to fix roads, it should stop “corporate giveaways” such as the recent cut in the Personal Property Tax.
Governor Snyder called for expanding the Educational Achievement Authority. That started as a pilot project for schools in Detroit. Segal says the governor is jumping the gun on this issue. She says there’s not enough data to know if the pilot project is working or not. Segal says she is concerned that schools will be shut down and turned over the for-profit companies. She says that’s what has happened in other states which have “experimented” with education.
Nesbitt says he had concerns over the legislation that was introduced last year to expand the EAA. He says it may be too much of a centralized solution. Nesbitt says more time should be allowed to see what the results are from the current authority. Nesbitt says the state needs to look at other options for education, but he says they have to make sure the new option is going to perform.
Governor Snyder called for addressing mental health in his address on Wednesday. Segal says Michigan is lagging behind the country on mental health parity. She says that would treat mental the same as physical health, and stop the stigma of mental health issues. Segal says the Legislature missed a chance to address that issue last year.
The governor mentioned Nesbitt by name on the issue of skilled trades. Nesbitt says his legislation would enhance vocational education opportunities, and allow high school students to take advantage of career and workforce development programs. Nesbitt says it will allow workers to train and be workforce ready when they graduate high school. Election reform Governor Snyder gave support for no reason absentee voting and other election reforms. Segal says Democrats would support no reason absentee voting. She says that could help address the long lines in some areas of Battle Creek on Election Day. She says Michigan should also have same day voter registration like many other states.