What Governor Snyder will focus on in 2015

January 23, 2015

We’ve come a long way in Governor Snyder’s first four years, but there’s still more work to be done.  During this year’s State of the State address, the governor set an ambitious agenda that will continue the reinvention of Michigan, creating better opportunities for Michigan’s 10 million residents. 

“Going forward the good part is we’ve solved many structural problems,” Governor Snyder said.  “But we have exciting things to work on in the future to set a vision on how we can lead the country.” 

Making Michigan #1 in the Skilled Trades

Making Michigan number one in the nation in skilled trades is Governor Snyder’s top priority. He plans to do that by ensuring that Michiganders have the talent they need to fill high-paying, in-demand jobs.

The governor called for better collaboration between high schools and higher education to create more opportunities and cost-savings for students. That will help ensure that students are focused on developing skills that will help them succeed in jobs in information technology, robotics, and healthcare.

“I want Michigan to be number one in creating career opportunities for hardworking Michiganders,” Governor Snyder said.  “We want to be able to say here’s an outstanding opportunity that, with the right training, you can have a sustainable career for years to come.”

The River of Opportunity

One of the major proposals the governor announced during the 2015 State of the State is called ‘The River of Opportunity’ – a new vision of government that focuses on people, not programs, and focuses on solving problems that are barriers to success.

“Let’s treat people like real people,” Governor Snyder said.  “It’s about asking how do we help people be successful by getting them back in the mainstream of success so they can support themselves,” he said. “This is about creating opportunities for Michiganders, not creating dependencies.”

Rather than simply creating more and more programs to address one problem or another, government will look at the whole person to identify the root of their problem, understand what is holding them back from success, find a solution, and help them succeed independently. 

This more efficient, effective and accountable  vision of state government will by driven by collaboration and cooperation to provide more effective customer service, allowing people to move back into the ‘River of Opportunity’ as fast as possible so they’re successful.

Improving Third-Grade Reading in Michigan

Governor Snyder also spoke on the importance of improving third-grade reading in Michigan. The ability to read is crucial for success in life, and that starts even before kindergarten. For Michigan’s reinvention to continue, we need to ensure that Michigan’s student have a solid foundation in reading.

“We need to put a much stronger focus on what I call prenatal through 3rd grade,” the governor said.  “We were at 63 percent proficiency in 2010.  We’re at 70 percent today.  We can’t be proud of that. Seventy percent doesn’t cut it.”

Over the last two years, Governor Snyder has invested $130 million into early childhood education, opening the door for children from low-income families to attend preschool, and the governor said that he will continue to invest additional funding in next year’s budget.  Furthermore, he asked the legislator to work with him to create a commission outside of state government to develop recommendations on specific actions to improve third-grade reading in Michigan.

Fix the Roads

Finally, the governor also reminded Michiganders about a need that has gone unaddressed for far too long – fixing Michigan’s roads.

“No one in Michigan likes our roads,” he said. “It’s time to invest in our roads and bridges. We created this mess. Now let’s solve it.”

Michigan’s roads are crumbling, one out of nine bridges is structurally deficient, and the state cannot have a robust 21st century economy while driving on out-of-date infrastructure.

At the end of last year, Michigan’s legislature passed a bipartisan solution that- with voter approval in May- will invest more money in our roads and bridges, making them safer for Michigan’s families. Governor Snyder reiterated his strong support for that legislation.

Learn more about what the Governor Snyder said in his 2015 State of the State address at www.Michigan.gov/stateofthestate.