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.
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