LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Ken Horn, R-Frankenmuth, issued the following statement on Tuesday, in response to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2017 State of the State address:
“Out of all the State of the State addresses that I’ve attended, this was probably the most positive. I was happy to see Governor Snyder begin his speech with optimism about our state and where it’s going. As chairman of the Senate Economic Development and International Investment Committee, I share his enthusiasm about the strength of the economy, business expansion and job growth.
“The state of Michigan is in the middle of a historic resurgence. Just a few short years ago, we were in the middle of a mass exodus, where we lost around 500,000 people over a single census period. Now, in 2017, we are leading the Midwest and are sixth in the nation for job growth. Personal incomes are also on the rise, which is good news for families currently living paycheck to paycheck. Let’s continue to grow our economy and put those days behind us.
“In addition to growing our economy, we are focused on making our state safer for residents. The Secure Cities Partnership between the Michigan State Police and local police departments has caused a double digit drop in violent crime in the cities of Saginaw, Flint, Pontiac and Detroit since 2011. Saginaw has seen the biggest drop with a 43.1 percent decrease in violent crime. I’m pleased to see that this successful program is going to be expanded. We’ve been working hard to tackle crime, now we need to support growth in our cities.
“Governor Snyder wants to see Michigan’s population reach 10 million by 2020 and we need vibrant communities to welcome newcomers and places to house them. I look forward to continue working on the Transformational Brownfield Redevelopment legislation that I introduced at the end of the last legislative session. The bills have the potential to benefit urban areas in every corner of our state. Our major cities are full of crumbling properties that if redeveloped, will truly move the needle revitalizing Michigan’s communities. Investment in our cities coupled with empowering our police to effectively keep communities safe is a recipe for growth and development.
“I would also like to see the state continue to expand the early and middle college programs. This allows students to complete the last two years of high school learning in college-level courses. Not only do these programs offer a fantastic head start to students who are able to participate, but they reduce the financial burden of secondary education as well. If you call my office, you’ll speak to Rachel, who took advantage of this program and finished her last two years of high school at Saginaw Valley State University. Early college gave her and others the tools needed to get ahead and be career ready. I hope all students in Michigan will be able to find a path to make them career ready, not just college ready.
“Lastly, after six years of responsible budgeting and carefully monitoring our finances, the state of Michigan is in a position to begin fixing some of our most important issues. We are in a sound place to start making major investments in the states infrastructure — above and below ground. We also have resources available for paying down debts, fixing costly state programs such as the Healthy Michigan Program, and extending dental coverage to all four corners of the state.
“Michigan has achieved great success in growing stronger and becoming more economically sound. It has been my goal as a legislator to foster an atmosphere where everyone’s kids, including my own, can find success in our own state. Because of the foundation we’ve laid over the past six years, we have an environment that will keep my grandkids just a bike ride away. I look forward to confronting the next set of challenges and continuing the work of making our state the best place to be.”