Snyder set to deliver first State of the State address tonight

Jan 19, 2011

Updated at 1 pm: 

Governor Snyder says the economy will be the focus of his first State of the State speech tonight.

That should come as no surprise, considering Michigan has a massive budget deficit and one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates.

Snyder says he’ll talk about economic development, and about a state partnership with the University of Michigan, as reported in this story on annarbor.com. He says he also plans to present a “report card” on some key issues: 

We’re going to have probably 21 different measures in five different areas. Things about the economy, about the health of our people in the state, public safety issues, a number of different areas. Education.

Snyder says the report card, or “dashboard” as he calls it, will be revisited in each of his State of the State addresses to see whether laws and policies are improving things. A spokeswoman for the governor says it will be made available on a Web site that's slated to go live later today.

8:08 a.m.:

Governor Rick Snyder will deliver his first State of the State address tonight at 7 p.m.. He'll deliver the speech to a joint session of the Michigan legislature in the state's Capitol building in Lansing. Though details of the speech have not been released, we do know the speech is expected to last about 40 minutes and is likely to focus on ways to improve and reinvent the state's economy.

It's interesting to note that Snyder doesn't plan to have  prepared text in front of him when he delivers the address. Instead, he'll deliver the speech from a set of bullet points. It was learned yesterday that Snyder will not release the speech to the media before 7 p.m., something former Governors Jennifer Granholm and John Engler both did.

As Snyder prepares to deliver the address, there are plenty of organizations who are saying what they hope to hear from the Governor. As the Associated Press reports:

The Michigan Manufacturers Association wants him to focus on improving the state's economic competitiveness by lowering business taxes. Advocates for more preschool and better child care are urging the new Republican governor to address early childhood issues. The Michigan AFL-CIO says Snyder needs to talk about how he's going to add jobs.

Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer will deliver the Democratic response after Snyder's address.

You can hear live coverage of the State of the State address, the Democratic response and analysis of the evening on Michigan Radio beginning at 7 p.m.