Lawmakers, Lobbyists Optimistic After State of State

By: Alex Goldsmith Email
By: Alex Goldsmith Email

It was freshman Rep. Mike Shirkey's (R - Jackson) first State of State speech and he was impressed with what Governor Snyder had to say.

"It's awe-inspiring," said Shirkey. "We have a governor with the creativity to come up with the solutions that will lead us to the positive outcomes that we're looking for."

Democratic response was more mixed. Although they appreciated some of Snyder's ideas, the positive rhetoric and bipartisanship presented in the address, they were still waiting for more details on Snyder's plans to eliminate the Michigan Business Tax.

"The big question is whether or not it will be budget neutral or we'll have to look for cuts in law enforcement and education," said Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer (D - Lansing). "That's something we'll know more about in February."

That's when Snyder has pledged to make his first budget presentation.

"It's awful difficult to answer details," said House Minority Leader Richard Hammell (D - Mt. Morris Township). "Right now everything is fairly general in nature that's been presented to us."

Doug Pratt, spokesman for the Michigan Education Association is waiting for more details too.

"He didn't really talk about [employee] compensation which surprised us," said Pratt. "Maybe he looked at the data and saw the sacrifices already being made by state workers."

Snyder's speech thrilled the Small Business Association of Michigan, which got a special nod from the Governor during his remarks.

"His approach of measurement is something that I think really resonates with business owners," said Rob Fowler, president and CEO of the Small Business Assocation of Michigan. "It's the idea that if you can't measure it, it's hard to manage it."


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