Political Roundup
5:02 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

State politics and public safety

Gov. Rick Snyder delivered a special address on public safety this week. His plan calls for fighting crime in some of the state’s most violent cities.

The 34 point plan includes hiring 180 additional state troopers, increasing staffing at crime labs, decreasing urban blight, and linking welfare benefits to school attendance.

Every week Michigan Radio's Jennifer White talks politics with Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants, and Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service.

Sikkema says the plan is comprehensive because it includes funding for job training for the unemployed and some money to deal with employed youth and truancy…. “I would add it’s in sharp contrast to Attorney General Bill Schuette’s proposal, which was 1,000 police officers most of them local police officers, and simply increasing prison sentences for certain felons, this is a very different proposal than what the Attorney General made.”

Demas says, "the very costly part of the equation is our prison budget or Department of Corrections, that’s been over $2 billion for years, it’s far more than we spend on higher education. As so far the governor has been very timid in that area, as all governors tend to be. But in terms at looking at cost savings that’s a very rich area that at some point he probably will need to look at if he wants to take a comprehensive approach."