Governor Delivers 7th State of the State Address

Jennifer Smith

By Jennifer Smith, MASB Director of Government Relations

DashBoard, Jan. 18, 2017

Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his State of the State address last night to a joint session of the House and Senate. He talked about many of the things that were accomplished in the last year, giving credit to the various legislators and others who helped make them happen.

The Governor pointed to the passage of the energy legislation at the end of the year as one of the biggest accomplishments. Under the new law, schools that enjoy savings from electric choice will be able to continue in that program. He stated that the new law will do three things—protect the environment, save consumers money and meet Michigan’s energy needs.

The 21st Century Commissions that were established last year were also mentioned. The Infrastructure Commission has already issued its report and stated that Michigan needs billions of dollars of investment over the next few years. The Education Commission has not yet issued its report but the Governor is looking forward to its recommendations.

Regarding education, the Governor spoke of the need to do more work on the PreK and early elementary reading standards. But much of his speech on education focused on career and technical education and increasing the opportunities for students specifically through apprenticeships and internships. He urged the business community to get involved to expand these types of opportunities and allow students to learn more about related careers.

He also urged more investment in computer programming and STEM curriculum. He stated that the jobs of the future will require us to close the education gap between the workforce needs and student learning. Detroit will host a national competition in robotics in the coming years; this is an opportunity to showcase and build on the First Robotics programs across the state.

There were not a lot of details on how much investment he intends to make in these areas. However, we expect his budget presentation to happen the first week of February and that will lay out many of the details around the proposals he raised in his speech.

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