Snyder Gives Fourth State Of The State Address - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Snyder Gives Fourth State Of The State Address

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - Governor Rick Snyder gave his fourth State of the State address Thursday night in front of a full crowd inside the Capitol. It's the last one of his term, as we enter into an election year. 

Snyder opened saying that "Michigan is the comeback state," but that there is still work to be done. He told legislators Michigan's economy has come a long way from the dark days of the Great Recession.

Trotting out a list of economic statistics, Snyder says Michigan's auto industry has doubled output since 2009 and is at the highest level since 2005.

He says that home sales, prices and new construction are rising and a population decline has reversed.

Snyder says the size of Michigan's labor force is growing for the first time in years as well, and the number of people moving out is in balance with the number moving in.

Snyder will issue an executive order creating the Office for New Americans, joining two other states with immigration services consolidated in the governor's office. His administration also seeks to make Michigan the second state running a regional visa center to attract talented immigrant entrepreneurs.

Snyder says he was upset to see four Michigan cities ranked among the nation's most violent after taking office in 2011. He says that spurred his Secure Cities program, focused on public safety in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw. He says all four cities report year-to-year drops in crime through late 2013. Snyder says credit goes to a collaboration of state and local police, sheriffs, prosecutors and judges.

He also says Michigan benefited from $100 million in federal demolition aid and from Detroit Democratic state Sen. Virgil Smith's anti-blight legislation.

Democrats feel his push to help the lower class may be too late. House Democrat Leader Tim Griemel says the lower and middle class have been affected enough and is even pushing for a higher minimum wage.

"It's the republicans who are playing the class warfare card. They've taken the money out of the pockets of families to give huge giveaways to their corporate special interest allies," said Greimel. He also gave a 10-minute speech following the governor's.

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer says Snyder's take on Michigan being the "comeback state" just isn't true. "Our college attainment is down, our poverty is up, infant mortality is up, the real indicators of how people are affected are not good," she said. "Comeback state for his friends but for the rest of us, we are paying the bill."

The Senate GOP leader, expectedly, has a different take on Snyder's record to date.

"If you look at where the governor started three years ago and where we are today, there is room for optimism but we're not done yet," said Sen. Randy Richardville.

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