This week, Jack and Emily discuss what we can expect from Governor Rick Snyder’s budget address later this morning as well as some high points from Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s State of the City address last night.
Higher education spending
One of the items Snyder is expected to announce when he unveils his budget plan is a 2% boost in higher education spending.
This is the fourth year of increased university funding after three years of cuts.
Lessenberry said these increases are tied to keeping tuition down, but affordability is still an issue.
“How do Michiganders afford higher education when the cost of a four year education at Michigan State is well over $20 thousand a year?” he said. “That’s not a problem we’ve really solved.”
Skilled jobs training
Snyder is also expected to ask for a 75% increase in funding for skilled trades and technical education in today’s address.
It won’t be the first time the governor has focused on vocational training. Last spring, he said closing the “skills gap” is one of Michigan’s most critical issues.
Lessenberry said Snyder is betting that having more tradespeople available will help business to the state.
“Last time I talked to [Snyder], he said to me, ‘If you’re a trained welder in this state, you can get a job anywhere in 15 minutes.’”
State of Detroit
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan last night delivered his State of the City address, outlining the municipality’s progress over the past year.
That included 80 new buses for the city, quicker police response times and a program for lower income residents to get small home improvement loans.
Lessenberry said the biggest applause came when the mayor announced Detroit’s first balanced budget in 13 years.
“Overall, it was probably the most upbeat State of the City address I can remember,” Lessenberry said.
-Rebecca Kruth, Michigan Radio Newsroom