Governor Snyder Delivers State of the State Address

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Gov. Rick Snyder has used his State of the State speech to level a half-veiled criticism of anti-gay and anti-Muslim remarks by Michigan Republican National Committeeman Dave Agema.
Snyder said Thursday night that Michigan needs "a greater degree of civility" in politics. He says people should "work to bring Michiganders together, not divide" them.
The Republican governor didn't specifically mention Agema, who says gays want public health care because they're dying of AIDS and who's questioned Muslims' commitment to charity.
Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel says the governor means the statement for "anyone who engages in discriminatory talk or behavior, including recent days and months."
The Associated Press left a Facebook message for Agema seeking comment Thursday night.

Gov. Rick Snyder says he wants to avoid "playing politics" with Michigan's projected $1.3 billion budget surplus over two fiscal years, using it for a combination of spending on long-term needs like retirement funding and a rainy day fund and tax relief for working residents.
Snyder made the statement in his annual State of the State address Thursday night at the Michigan Capitol.
He says lawmakers should look at deferred public needs and as well as the financial assistance for taxpayers.
Snyder says areas that could use funding include future state employee retirement costs and the state's rainy day fund, which evens out revenue in hard times.
He also says working people face many personal financial challenges, and tax cuts aimed at them could ease their lives a bit.

Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan is making progress in fighting blight and crime in some of its hardest hit central cities and says the push will continue.
Snyder made the statement Thursday night during his State of the State address.
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.

Gov. Rick Snyder has hammered hard at his description of Michigan as the "comeback state" in the opening minutes of his annual State of the State address.
Snyder told legislators at the Capitol on Thursday night that 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.

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