Senator Johnson Responds to Gov. Snyder's Second State of the State Address
Governor basks in others' achievements, ignores failed promises from 2011
LANSING - Following Governor Rick Snyder’s second State of the State Address tonight, Senator Bert Johnson (D-Detroit) noted striking similarities to last year’s speech, with several progressive-minded policies proposed; but after witnessing the legislative catastrophes of 2011, Johnson was much less optimistic that common-sense policies would be passed in 2012.
“The Governor offered a lot less than he did last year in terms of smart, forward-thinking policies, which is probably a result of his failure to enact such proposals” Johnson said. “A lot of the positives he took credit for, like the lowest unemployment rate since 2008 and the comeback of the auto industry, were the result of President Obama’s policies, not his.”
Johnson cited universal access to preventative healthcare; prenatal through higher education support for Michigan’s students; and approval of the New International Trade Crossing as important proposals from last year’s speech that went unfulfilled in 2011.
“The items he highlighted as successes, for example obliterating limits on charter schools and individual tax policies, were indeed failures. And the things he could have done on behalf of Michigan’s citizens, he either refused or could not do,” Johnson said. “Again, this year’s speech contained several positives, but the question remains if Gov. Snyder will be too constrained by his Republican counterparts in the Legislature.”
The Governor also mentioned his commitment to strengthening the social safety net in 2012.
“I’m glad to hear it, but his colleagues have destroyed it,” Johnson said. “I will work with my Democratic colleagues and anyone else to restore the state earned income tax credit, unemployment benefits for those still looking for a job, state food aid to those living in poverty, worker’s compensation funding for those injured while on the job and the workforce development programs that trained folks for new careers.”
The Gerber partnership on childhood obesity, creation of a regional transit authority and the establishment of a healthcare exchange, as prescribed by President Obama’s signature healthcare reform legislation, were three promising points in tonight’s speech.
“I fully support keeping our children healthy. I have championed regional transit for four years in the Legislature and am glad to partner with Gov. Snyder on this economic development issue. And I couldn’t be happier to know that he is on board with President Obama’s healthcare reform initiative,” Johnson said. “So, yes, I was happy with parts of the speech and I look forward to working with the Governor this year in passing the parts of his agenda that would help people, not his party’s wealthy benefactors.”