Governor Rick Snyder gave his fourth annual State of the State address on January 16 in Lansing. The Governor was upbeat and focused on recent economic progress, while also looking forward.
“I’m proud to report tonight: We’re getting [the] job done,” he said. “We are reinventing Michigan—Michigan is the Comeback State.”
Strong Indicators that Michigan is Moving Toward a Brighter Future
AMP generally shares the Governor’s positive outlook and enthusiasm; his “dashboard” indicators certainly are encouraging. Job creation, higher incomes, and population growth are all very strong evidence that the comeback is real. The Governor indicated Michigan has added 221,000 private-sector jobs the past three years, and he highlighted manufacturing and agriculture as particular success stories.
The Governor made special mention of the Pure Michigan Business Connect initiative, saying he was impressed that the initiative had already signed up more than 24,000 companies and generated $1.6 billion in new business for Michigan in just two and a half years. He thanked two of Michigan’s energy companies (and founding members of the initiative) DTE Energy and Consumers Energy for their leadership. He also talked about Community Ventures, a program that helps Michigan’s structurally unemployed, and microloan programs to help grow new businesses.
The Governor also highlighted the state’s investments in education, including new programs that are encouraging high school students to enter the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)—professional areas that are of great importance to Michigan’s energy future.
Michigan’s Energy Future
The Governor touched on energy policy only briefly toward the end of his speech, but he did discuss energy at length just a few weeks earlier during an energy roundtable discussion last month. In that meeting, he reiterated four energy priorities: adaptability, reliability, affordability, and environmental protection. These policy pillars first were mentioned in Governor Snyder’s 2012 energy address. We know Michigan energy plays an important role in supporting our state’s continued comeback, and we look forward to working with the Governor and other elected leaders to develop policy solutions to achieve these objectives in economically sound ways.
The focus of the Governor’s State of the State address aligns well with AMP’s core mission—supporting smart energy policies that will strengthen our economy and create jobs, foster innovation and sustainability, ensure that the needs of Michigan’s most vulnerable citizens are met, and create a more secure future where Michigan produces more of its own energy. We believe these energy goals and the economic progress the Governor highlighted go hand-in-hand.
Click here to watch the entire 2014 State of the State address.