Though brief in his remarks, Gov. Rick Snyder covered a wide variety of issues ranging from job growth and public safety to obesity and educational reform during his second State of the State Address Wednesday.
Amid sharing positive statistics and amusing anecdotes, Snyder called on all “Michiganders” to “reinvent our culture” and restore our belief “that Michigan holds a future for our children and their children.”
“This century it is time for the era of innovation,” Snyder said.
Although Macomb Township may not feel a direct impact from Snyder’s call for reinvestment in infrastructure and public safety, it will see the effects of the past year's educational and tax reforms, as well as anti-bullying legislation.
College and Career Ready: Responding to Snyder’s call for educational reform, the legislature passed a series of bills in 2011 that will directly affect the curriculum of Macomb’s public school districts in the near future. Changes to testing and funding at the state level will see local districts such as Chippewa Valley and L’Anse Creuse implement the in the next two years. Charter schools could also make their way to Macomb now that the .
Eliminate Michigan Business Tax and Unnecessary Regulations: Although Snyder made no mention of eliminating the personal property tax in 2012, he did note his belief that elimination of the MBT in 2011 will promote job growth in 2012 among small and medium-size businesses. The governor also asked the legislature to rescind some 400 regulations that, once eliminated, will encourage business growth and job creation while protecting citizens.
Anti-bullying Law: This year, all public school districts in the state will be . While all districts serving Macomb Township do this already, the law will force districts to review their codes and strengthen them as required under law.
And though the concept of regional mass transit has not been widely accepted in Macomb County, such a system may soon exist. Snyder is calling for the creation of a regional bus transit system for Southeast Michigan, which will include Detroit and its surrounding counties. Snyder is also urging the legislature to develop a new funding system for roads.
Onward to 2012's "Good Government"
Referring to 2011 as the year for building the "foundation of good government," Snyder said the focus of 2012 will be on implementing "good government."
What does this mean? Snyder defined the term using four principals:
- Deliver outstanding customer service to citizens and create an environment for job creation and safety net for those in need.
- Deliver real results for real people. Show measurable results, be effective and efficient and human in thoughts and actions.
- Deliver both short and long-term financial responsibility. "Don't spend money just because it's there."
- Recognize the state government's role as a team player. It is not there to create jobs, but to create an environment to encourage job creation.
"We cannot afford to slow down," he said. "We have to maintain our sense of urgency and finish what we started. I believe the greatest key to our success this past year was relentless positive action. No blame, no credit, just finding common ground and solving problems."