Governor Rick Snyder spoke for just under an hour in his Wednesday night State of the State address, but outlined a broad array of efforts to create more jobs, support existing businesses, and reform the state TMs tax code and relics of laws.
Snyder said all of the progress made in these areas and more would be measured in five key categories under the Michigan Dashboard.
You can find a link to the web-based element of this report card here: http://www.michigan.gov/accountability
Snyder said the dashboard will evaluate state progress in five core areas including economic strength, health and education, value for government, quality of life and public safety.
The dashboard method is a similar model used by many corporations, and has been a part of Snyder TMs strategies in corporate life. Snyder is a former executive with Gateway Computers and has launched several successful start-up companies.
Other aspects of his speech included efforts to support businesses already located in Michigan. Government TMs role is to create an environment that allows people to succeed, Snyder told the joint session of the state House and Senate in his address.
He highlighted tasks to be taken in part by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to help rid corporations of burdensome regulations.
Snyder also pledged to submit a state budget proposal to the legislature that removes the controversial Michigan Business Tax and replace it with a flat six percent corporate net income tax. Snyder said it would make it easier for businesses to invest in jobs.
Snyder made scattered mentions of education, such as an effort underway in Detroit and orchestrated in part by Wayne State University to have 15,000 young people living and working in Midtown Detroit by the year 2015.
Snyder said he wants increased partnerships with cities and plans to create an executive capacity in regions of the state including the Flint and Saginaw-area. He wants revenue sharing reformed where state dollars are sent to local governments based upon a set of best-practices, helping to increase value for money. These dollars help local governments fund public safety among other vital functions.
The governor made mentions of international trade and highlighted a development with Canada to build a second bridge linking that country with Michigan. He said a Canadian offer is on the table to pay for $550 million of Michigan's part of the bridge construction via a public-private partnership.
Snyder TMs remarks were generally well received by both parties including local lawmakers. I was very pleased with the remarks, said Democratic State Rep. Stacy Erwin Oaks of the 95th House District encompassing Saginaw. There were some parts that caused for trepidation but for the most part I was very pleased.
He made it very clear he does not intend to kick the can down the road any further, said State Rep. Ken Horn, the House Republican representing Frankenmuth. We are going to tackle the budget once and for all.
There was almost no mention of the state TMs projected $1.8 billion deficit in the governor TMs speech. Some lawmakers that spoke with NBC25 said they wanted to hear more on budget reduction procedures, but pointed out a lively debate will take place on that subject in the weeks and months to come.