Rick Snyder

Politics
6:56 am
Fri January 20, 2012

Snyder to address business leaders on 2012 plans

Photo courtesy of Governor Rick Snyder

Governor Rick Snyder will follow his State of the State address with another speech today to the state’s business leaders and immigration policy is expected to play a prominent role in his talk. 

Governor Snyder announced in his State of the State address that he’s forged an alliance with unions and businesses to lobby Congress to relax some immigration laws. Snyder wants to keep educated immigrants in the country. 

Mike Finney is the CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and one of the governor’s top advisors on business issues. He says right now immigration rules force out many potential entrepreneurs after they earn advanced degrees from Michigan colleges and universities.

“It seems only logical that we would at least create opportunities for them to offer up that intellect to help grow businesses here in this country and, of course, in the state of Michigan.”

Finney says the governor also wants to improve efforts to match workers with the skills they need to land a good job.

Politics
5:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Thousands of questions submitted for Michigan Governor Snyder's online town hall

A likeness of the Michigan Governor posted on his Facebook page.
Rick Snyder for Michigan Facebook Page

Governor Rick Snyder is in for a long night if he plans on answering ALL of the questions submitted for his "online town hall" tonight.

More than 3,500 have been submitted, according to Snyder's staff.

He's a sampling of some of the questions that have been posted recently:

  • Hamtramck is charging Officer $900 a month for healthcare permitted under Act 152. Was this your intent?
  • Will you please make high-speed commuter rail between Ann Arbor and Detroit a priority?
  • You say Michigan has a surplus so why are so many people still losing their jobs? And why is Detroit in debt?
  • Why did college students lose food assistance, including the disabled taking online classes? Inhuman to me.
  • How do you feel about the potential legalization of marijuana? This could create potential jobs.

More on the 6 p.m. online town hall from the Associated Press:

Thousands of Michigan residents have sent in questions for Gov. Rick Snyder as he prepares for his first online town hall.

The Republican governor has scheduled an online discussion on his Facebook page beginning at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel says more than 3,500 questions have been posted on Facebook and Twitter and on the state website. Questions also can be called in during the town hall.

The governor says he wants to discuss the initiatives he talked about in Tuesday's State of the State address. Besides the 45-minute online town hall, he's also participating in a televised town hall Friday afternoon at Detroit Public Television studios in Wixom.

Snyder has held more than 100 town hall meetings since he began running for governor in 2009.

Flint
1:49 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Flint emergency manager welcomes promised state help with violent crime problem

Steve Carmody Michigan Radio

Flint’s emergency manager is welcoming the governor’s pledge to help with the city’s violent crime problem.  

Governor Snyder promised in Wednesday’s State of the State address to work with Flint, Detroit, Saginaw and Pontiac to address their nationally ranked crime problems. The governor will lay out his plan in March.  

“I’ve asked my police chief and others in our community who are criminal justice professionals to be thinking about how we can best work with the state," says Mike Brown, Flint’s emergency manager.   

Flint’s crime rate has soared as budget deficits have forced city leaders to lay off police officers in recent years.   

Flint police have investigated five murders in the past week. The city set a record for murders in 2010. After peaking at 66 murders in 2010, Flint recorded 55 homicides in 2011, with a sharp decline in the number of murders in the second half of the year.

Commentary
11:58 am
Thu January 19, 2012

What next for Michigan?

Governor Snyder’s state of the state speech last night didn’t provoke the kind of excitement it did a year ago.

And that’s not necessarily bad. In fact, it demonstrated two things; a grasp of political reality, and responsible common sense. Last year was one of revolutionary change in the way state government does business. The governor proposed a series of breathtaking programs and far-reaching changes.

To the astonishment of the experts, he got pretty much everything he wanted through the legislature, with one exception -- the New International Trade Crossing bridge.

Read more
Environment
10:04 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Environment nearly absent in State of the State

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
  • Audio processing, please check back momentarily.

(We are having problems with the "audio processing" file above. Please use the second link.)

In his second State of the State address, Governor Rick Snyder did not spend a lot of time talking about the environment. But he did say that agriculture, tourism, mining and the timber industry are key to the state’s future.

He also talked about his push to overhaul the state’s regulatory system.

“So far we’ve rescinded nearly 400 obsolete, confusing and burdensome regulations.”

Now... those 400 regulations are not all environmental. But Governor Snyder did call out one set of rules that was on the books.

“The Department of Environmental Quality has 28 separate requirements for outhouses, including a requirement that the seat not be left up.”

The governor got big laughs - it was the best punch line of the evening. But of course, there’s a serious undertone to the Governor’s plans for overhauling the way the state regulates businesses.

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State of the State 2012
6:19 am
Thu January 19, 2012

Snyder's State of the State focuses on unfinished tasks

thetoad flickr

Governor Rick Snyder used his 2012 State of the State speech last night to strike an optimistic tone about Michigan’s future, and to refocus attention on what he says is unfinished business from last year.

In his second State of the State address, Governor Snyder got to start off with some good news – Michigan’s unemployment rate fell in the final month of 2011 to the lowest it’s been in over three years.

“Unemployment in the last 12 months has dropped from 11.1 percent to 9.3percent," the Governor said to applause.

And Snyder says that’s evidence his strategy of “relentless positive action” – he used his trademark phrase twice in the speech – is working.

Now a fair amount of that drop is because so many people have quit looking for jobs that they’ve dropped out of the workforce. Adding those people, as well as those who are working part-time but wishing for full-time jobs puts Michigan’s rate of unemployment and under-employment closer to 19 percent.

But, despite lingering challenges, the governor says things are moving in the right direction: Michigan’s finances are looking up, and he says 2012 should be a time to build on the successes of 2011.

“We are on that path. We’re getting it right. We are getting it done.”

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Politics
8:39 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

LISTEN: 2012 State of State address

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder.

 

From the Associated Press:

An upbeat Gov. Rick Snyder says Michigan now is adding jobs and living within its means and is poised for an even better year ahead if lawmakers approve new projects boosting the economy such as a bridge linking Detroit and Canada.

Snyder made the comments during his second State of the State address Wednesday at the Capitol.

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Politics
3:22 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Michigan Governor Snyder previews his State of the State speech on YouTube

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder previewing tonight's State of the State speech on YouTube.
screen grab from YouTube video

Get those "RPA" numbers up!

The Michigan Governor who loves to tout "relentless positive action" as a descriptor for his form of governing has turned to YouTube to give us a preview of his second State of the State address tonight.

In an upbeat tone, Governor Snyder says his speech will be an "honest assessment about how Michigan is doing. And the good part is we're doing well. We are reinventing our state. We're making a major comeback."

In 2012, Snyder says his focus will be about implementing good government, "what you deserve is to have a good government that's implemented well... I'm truly excited and we're going to keep moving forward with relentless positive action."

Commentary
12:04 pm
Wed January 18, 2012

Wrong time for right-to-work?

Governor Rick Snyder has no interest in attempting to make Michigan a "right-to-work" state, which means one where it is illegal for employers to sign labor contracts requiring their workers to pay union dues. But some Republicans in the legislature disagree, and may try to get a right-to-work bill passed this year.

There’s also the possibility of trying to put something on the November ballot, a constitutional amendment, perhaps, that would outlaw the union shop in this state. It’s unclear whether there is really going to be any serious effort to make that happen.

Read more
Changing Gears
10:02 am
Wed January 18, 2012

The State of the State... in Laingsburg, Michigan

Janae Jodway owns Body Works Medical Massage in Laingsburg, Michigan.
Kate Davidson Changing Gears

Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder gives his second State of the State address tonight.  He’s already signed more than 300 public acts.  That’s a new law for almost every day in office.

Over the next few weeks, Changing Gears is looking at how changes in state government are impacting lives and wallets across the region. Here in Michigan, people are riveted by some of Snyder’s big ticket changes, like giving emergency managers the power to strip control from elected officials in failing cities and school districts.

But this story is different.  It’s about one Mid-Michigan town and all the small, drowned-out changes that deeply affect people’s lives.  People like Janae Jodway.

Read more
State of the State 2012
6:33 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Snyder prepares State of the State delivery

Governor Snyder delivering his first State of the State address last year.
gop.house.com

Governor Snyder is preparing to deliver his second State of the State address tonight. Snyder will deliver the address from the House floor at the Capitol building in Lansing and preparations for the evening are already underway, the Grand Rapids Press reports:

Crews already are working to reconfigure the House floor, which is the largest room in the Capitol and normally serves as the workplace for 110 state representatives and some staff members.

For the speech, representatives are allowed to bring a guest – typically a relative or community leader – and are joined by the members of the state Senate, the Supreme Court and department heads. Once you add 100 members of the media, the crowd comes to about 600. It fills the chamber’s floor, gallery and two adjoining rooms, said Ari Adler, spokesman for House Speaker Jase Bolger, R-Marshall. “It’s not for the claustrophobic,” he said.

The representatives’ desks don’t move easily, tethered electronically for voting and communications, so workers are expected to spend much of the day removing other furniture and bringing in chairs to accommodate guests and dignitaries.

And, what should we expect to hear from the Governor? Rick Pluta reported from Lansing earlier this week that the Governor says he will use this year's address to report back to the Legislature and the citizens of Michigan on the state’s progress over the past year. "The governor promises the speech will be a frank assessment of where his goal of ‘reinventing Michigan’ stands. The governor says people can expect fewer new initiatives for the Legislature to tackle this year in his second State of the State address. He says more of the focus will be on how he intends to manage the executive branch of state government," Pluta explains.

Michigan Radio will have live, special coverage of the address, including analysis of the speech and a Democratic response, beginning tonight at 7 p.m.

Politics
3:22 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Michigan Governor Snyder to hold "online town hall" Thursday

A day after Governor Snyder delivers his "State of the State" address, he plans to go live on the web with an "online town hall." The event is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday. Details can be found on the Governor's Facebook page.
"Rick Snyder for Michigan" Facebook Page

Governor Rick Snyder plans to hold an "online town hall" with Michigan residents a day after giving his second State of the State address.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday.

It will be streamed live on Facebook on the governor’s Rick for Michigan page.

Residents can submit questions in advance at the state website.

They can also post questions on the governor’s Facebook wall or send a message on Twitter to the governor at @onetoughnerd using the hash tag, #AskGovSnyder.

Questions also can be submitted through Facebook and Twitter once the town hall meeting has started.

Snyder will deliver his State of the State address to lawmakers, top administration officials and others at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Capitol.

Emergency Manager Protest
6:51 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Protesters take EM fight to Snyder’s door

Protesters gather outside the gated community where Governor Snyder lives.
Laura Weber Michigan Public Radio Network

About a thousand protesters marched on Governor Rick Snyder’s residential neighborhood in Ann Arbor yesterday evening. They marched to ask Governor Snyder to repeal the state’s controversial emergency manager law.

The rally started at on the eastern edge of Ann Arbor, and about a mile-and-a-half from Governor Snyder’s house. Protesters marched, chanted and sang, hoisted signs and lit candles. They wound in a long line through the tree-lined neighborhood of gently rolling hills spotted with the occasional large house. They were greeted outside of Snyder’s gated community by the governor’s chief of staff, Dennis Muchmore.

Reverend Charles Williams II of Detroit’s King Solomon Baptist Church told Muchmore to tell the governor that the law negates the will of voters in struggling communities.

“And we need democracy here, in Detroit, Benton Harbor, Inkster, Ecorse and Flint.”

“Will do.”

“Thank you.”

“We’ll do that. Thank you very much.”

Muchmore says the governor wants to work with people living in financially strained communities, but that the cities must also be protected from insolvency.

Politics
3:58 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Sharpton, Conyers to protest Michigan emergency manager law

Protestors march to Gov. Rick Snyder's neighborhood.
Laura Weber Michigan Radio

The Rev. Al Sharpton and U.S. Representative John Conyers will be among those who plan to march to Governor Rick Snyder's gated community this afternoon.

They're protesting Michigan's emergency manager law. They say the law is racially biased.

From Associated Press:

The Rev. Al Sharpton, U.S. Rep. John Conyers and others say they plan a demonstration outside Gov. Rick Snyder's gated community against what they say is a racially biased law making easier for Michigan to take over financially struggling communities and school districts.

A rally is scheduled for 4-7 p.m. on Martin Luther King Monday at Parker Mill County Park, followed by a march to the community's gatehouse in Washtenaw County's Superior Township near Ann Arbor.

Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel says the Republican governor supports citizens' right to protest, calling it "part of democracy in action."

Snyder denies the law is racially motivated.

Emergency managers are in place in Benton Harbor, Pontiac, Flint and Detroit's schools. Detroit's finances are under a review that could bring it under state control.

The Michigan Public Radio Network's Laura Weber will be covering the event.

We'll post her updates later today.

Politics
1:59 pm
Mon January 16, 2012

Michigan governor says he's "fair game" for protesters

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder speaks with reporters inside the Lansing Center
(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Governor Snyder says he’s "fair game" for today’s planned protest outside his Ann Arbor area home. He says it's part of democracy for people to protest.   

“It’s fine to demonstrate to show those things," says Snyder, though he adds, "The main thing is…hopefully we can spend as much or more time finding common ground about how we can work together to solve problems.”    

Many of the protesters are demonstrating against Michigan’s emergency manager law.     

State of the State 2012
6:43 am
Mon January 16, 2012

Snyder prepares for second State of the State address

Governor Snyder delivering his first State of the State address, January 2011
gophouse.gov

Governor Rick Snyder will outline his plans for 2012 later this week when he delivers his second State of the State address.

Last year, Governor Snyder won legislative approval of a lot of new initiatives – a tax overhaul; toughening the state’s local emergency manager law; and ending the requirement that stores put a price tag on every retail item.

Other efforts, such as a new international bridge in Detroit, stalled in the face of Republican opposition.

The governor says his State of the State speech will be a frank accounting of his first year, but will also reflect his optimistic approach to governing.

The former CEO intends to focus more this year on implementing policies and his plans for managing the executive branch than putting new initiatives before the Legislature.

The governor says he will continue to push to make Michigan more business-friendly.

Michigan Radio will have live, special coverage of the Governor's second State of the State address beginning Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.

Politics
6:59 am
Fri January 13, 2012

AFL-CIO: still broad support for unions in Michigan

State union leaders say lawmakers should focus on creating more jobs in Michigan with more support for education and public services. And they say lawmakers should not try to make Michigan a right-to-work state.

Karla Swift is president of the Michigan chapter of AFL-CIO. She says most people in Michigan still support unions and collective bargaining rights, and would not want Michigan to be a right-to-work state. And she says Governor Rick Snyder has signaled he does not favor a right-to-work law, either.

“The governor’s made his position clear that he wants to do the work of rebuilding Michigan’s economy and creating jobs, and not spend time on right-to-work," Swift says.

Swift says right-to-work laws have not proven effective in many states with high unemployment rates. Supporters of right-to-work say it would help Michigan attract new businesses.

Financial Crisis
5:05 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Snyder: Financial crisis exists in Highland Park School District

State Treasurer Andy Dillon, left, and state Superintendent Mike Flanagan
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

Update 4:58 pm:

State Treasurer Andy Dillon says the district’s money problems are deep and troubling. He says the state will advance the school district $188,000 so it can meet payroll tomorrow. 

"I have no comfort that the district has a handle on their finances," said Dillon. "The numbers move hourly. We have three people down there today trying to get a handle on how much they actually need for payroll. And I’m very uneasy about it, because I can’t tell you in the middle of February that they’re going to make payroll."

But school board member Robert Davis says the state has contributed to the district’s financial woes by requiring that it close a career academy that enrolled 1,500 students.

"Their plan and intent is to fold the Highland park School system into the Detroit Public School system," Davis said. "That’s what this is all about."

Highland Park Schools' student population has declined 58% percent since 2006. 

State officials say their objective is to keep the district’s doors open through the end of the year. But they say that will be difficult. The district needs a cash infusion of at least $3 million to get through the school year. But the maximum the state is allowed to advance under hardship cases is $2 million.

The district's cumulative deficit is $11.3 million. That’s about $10,000 for every student enrolled.

12:56 p.m.

Governor Rick Snyder has declared a financial emergency in the Highland Park school district, Rick Pluta reports. The district will have a chance to challenge the finding at a January 17th hearing before the governor names an emergency manager.

In a statement released today, the Governor says:

“It is critical that students in the Highland Park School District get the education they need and deserve. For that to continue, the Highland Park School District must have stable finances. Through the comprehensive reviews that have been conducted, it is clear the district faces monumental financial challenges.”

On January 4th a state review  panel recommended the governor appoint an emergency manager to fix the school district’s "financial emergency." The financial review team had been looking at the Highland Park School District’s books since November. Earlier this month, Steve Carmody reported:

The panel’s report to the governor finds the school district is $11 million in the red. That works out to about $10 thousand for every student enrolled.  The school district’s deficit has grown by $3 million in just the last year. The school district’s debt has grown, as its student population has fallen. Nearly 3,200 students attended Highland Park schools in 2006. This year, fewer than a thousand students are enrolled.

Emergency managers are already running the Detroit public schools,  as well as the cities of Flint, Pontiac, Ecorse and Benton Harbor. Financial review teams are also looking at Detroit and Inkster's books.

Read more
Political Roundup
4:19 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

Legislative priorities in 2012 & the State of the State address

The Michigan legislature began a new session this week.
Michigan Municipal League

The Michigan Legislature began the new session this week, and with Gov. Rick Snyder scheduled to deliver his second State of the State address, the agenda for state government is underway.

Michigan Radio's Jennifer White asks, what kind of relationship might we see between the Governor and the legislature this year?

She spoke with Susan Demas, political analyst for Michigan Information and Research Service, and Ken Sikkema, former Senate Majority Leader and Senior Policy Fellow at Public Sector Consultants.

 

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