Meridian Times staff writer
Gov. Rick Snyder presented his budget proposal to lawmakers at the Business Leaders for Michigan Leadership Summit in Lansing Thursday, Feb. 17.
“Simply put – job one is jobs,” Snyder announced early on in his first State of the State address. His speech was centered on improving Michigan’s economy and the beginning of change. He reiterated the need to reinvent Michigan in his speech on Thursday.
Last month, he presented “The Michigan Dashboard” and will present the dashboard in every State of the State address he gives. Composed of 21 different measures in five key areas, it will measure Michigan’s progress in economic growth, health and education, value for government, quality of life and public safety.
More importantly, he will focus on the jobs that already exist in Michigan. Underemployment, unemployed and the lack of jobs available in Michigan force people to look for jobs elsewhere.
Michigan State University James Madison freshman Colin Cumming said he is very afraid that he is not going to be able to find a job in Michigan and already plans on moving elsewhere after graduation.
“I have some friends at University of Michigan’s Law School that are worried about finding a job in Michigan, U of M has one of the best law schools in the country with a great job placement rate and if they’re worried about finding a job, then the competition is clearly too fierce to comfortably compete in Michigan,” said Cumming.
Snyder also addressed the Detroit River International Crossing Project. The bridge is a construction project that he hopes will become a reality. It will be the second bridge connecting Detroit and Windsor. It would create 10,000 immediate jobs and 40,000 jobs in a ripple effect and help businesses all the way around by enhancing and increasing global commerce.
He also is encouraging immigrants with advanced college degrees to come to Michigan to work and live. However many residents expressed concern over blogs and websites that immigrants may take jobs away from the Michigan natives.
Cumming’s view differs from the bloggers. “I think it is fair because America is the ‘land of opportunity’ and all of that jazz,” said the social relations and policy student. “Anyone deserves a job, if there is one available anywhere. Qualification if qualification especially if they’re properly educated.”
Gerald Richards, Meridian Township’s manager, says that Snyder has a tall task ahead of him however he is generally on the right approach. Richards agrees with the 6 percent corporate income tax with the small-business exclusion as well as taxing pensions are fair resulting to get a broader base of residents paying.
“I trust that he has been a business person and he recognizes what needs to be fixed. That the state has some issues and he knows what will promote business and with economic activity it will generate and benefit the people in the long run,” said Richards.
If you missed Snyder’s budget address watch the whole speech below.