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Gov. Rick Snyder's State of the State speech at 7 p.m. Wednesday will set second-year policy agenda.

Gov. Rick Snyder begins pushing his second-year priorities during a 7 p.m. State of the State address to legislators at the Capitol in Lansing, which will air on WTVS (Detroit Public TV) and WDET (101.9 FM).

Advocacy groups have sketched some wish lists of what they'd like to hear, such as:

  • More spending on schools and early childhood education.
  • Additional road and bridge repairs.
  • Extended weeks of unemployment benefits.
  • Business support, such as dropping a tax on equipment.

The speech previews budget plans coming Feb. 9. With a surprise surplus of $457 million left from the last fiscal year, Snyder has room to expand initiatives and propose new ones. Tonight's address is about "setting a tone for the entire year," Snyder said this week.

He's expected to "discuss public schools and universities, improving public transportation in southeast Michigan, how the state pays for roads, and reform of personal property taxes that businesses pay on equipment," according to the Detroit Free Press.   

"Jobs and the economy are clearly going to be a key part of the address," says a statement from the nonprofit group Michigan's Children. "But we hope Governor Snyder also will talk about his plans for investing in the young people who will be our future workers and leaders. With indicators showing an uptick in our economy, we now have the means to invest in areas that will help create a prosperous future for Michigan."

At the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, CEO Rich Studley told the Associated Press and other capital reporters Tuesday: "We're hopeful the governor will mention the need for transportation investment. ... We have to double our state's investment over the next few years, invest more and more wisely in our transportation system."

The Republican governor will follow up with a 6 p.m. online town hall forum Thursday that will be live-streamed on the state website and at Rick Snyder for Michigan on Facebook. Questions can be submitted here.

And vote on your most important issues in our poll below.

citizen2000 January 19, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Snyder's answer to everything is China. He traveled to China last year and called for more direct investment in Michigan by China (read that as China should buy more American companies). Snyder's company, Neophotonics was a California company until he merged it with a Chinese company four times its size and owned partly by the Chinese government. Another of his companies, Discera, was built on an inventions by a UM professor and Snyder has exported it to China (probably without an export license). That technology has important military applications in missile guidance systems. Can I sell you a bridge? That is his latest pitch to China. The company building the freeway to the new international bridge on the Canadian side is Hutchinson Wampoa, a Chinese construction company and when Snyder was asked if he would mind if China built and operated the bridge, he said that would be fine with him. With so much of his wealth invested in China, when he returns to China later this year, will Snyder represent Michigan's interests or will he represent China's. Read more at www.china-threat.com


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