Governor Snyder: State of the State
Thursday, January 21, 2016
On January 19, 2016, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder made his annual State of the State address. This year, instead of highlighting successes, the Governors speech addressed critical issues facing the residents of Michigan.
The Flint Water Crisis was the first area of focus during which the Governor apologized to the residents of Flint and vowed to make it right. "I am sorry, most of all, that I let you down," Snyder said, speaking directly to Flint residents. "You deserve better. You deserve accountability. You deserve to know that the buck stops here with me." Governor Snyder also asked lawmakers for more than $28 million in the current fiscal year to deal with water crisis in Flint.
Late afternoon on January 20, the House passed a $28 million supplemental appropriation to fund the following:
- $2 million to support National Guard efforts;
- $935,000 to the Department of Education to support hiring additional school nurses, wrap-around services, providing early on and special education services as well as nutritional snacks for elementary students;
- $17 million for the Department of Health & Human Services to cover the purchase of water filters and filter replacements, to provide nutrition support, community education and to support child and adolescent Health Centers;
- $5.8 million to the Department of Environmental Quality to fund water system needs, provide lab and testing costs, provide corrosion control procedures and infrastructure integrity study;
- $2 million to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for plumbing fixture replacement
Source: MIRS, January 20, 2016, 4:51 pm ET (PDF Available Here)
Governor Snyder then addressed Detroit Public Schools asking to split the city's school system into two, with the existing DPS left to pay down an estimated $515 million in operating debt while a new school district is created, Detroit Community School District, to educate the city's students and manage all other operations. Snyder highlighted the importance of studying school funding, career and technical schooling and other ways to increase Michigan’s education outcomes.
The remaining focus of the address included the creation of two commissions and the American Center for Mobility to address state infrastructure, education and the economy. They include:
- Commission for 21st Century Education to investigate what obstacles are holding the state back and determine how to build the state's educational future. Results from the commission will be delivered by the end of November 2016.
- Commission for Building 21st Century Infrastructure to investigate statewide infrastructure priorities including ageing water and sewer lines, electric grids, broadband Internet and the Soo Locks. Results from the commission are expected by September 2016.
- Creating the American Center for Mobility to study and develop autonomous and connected vehicles to help Michigan remain a leader in the automotive industry.
If you missed the live broadcast, you can view it here.