Snyder's 'river of opportunity' address theme draws different responses

 There were differing reactions to Gov. Snyder's State of the State Address.

Gov. Rick Snyder had a theme for his fifth State of the State address. 

He spoke of a "river of opportunity" and some had differing opinions on whether most of it was upstream or downstream in his analogy.

"That's what tonight is about," Snyder said. "Talking about how do we go to the top."

RELATED: To watch the entire address, click here.

After laying down his accomplishments which include lower unemployment and rising housing values in the state, Snyder quickly moved to his vision for Michigan's future.

That includes smaller government and consolidating the more than 130 government programs offered by the state.

"We've sliced and diced  and put into programs," Snyder said.

"We talk about consolidating services, for me it really means making significant cuts," said State Rep. Kristy Pagan (D-Canton). "And really hurting our most vulnerable citizens."

The governor's talk about how far Detroit has come this year got the crowd on its feet.

"Let's grow the city of Detroit, in particular put an emphasis on the neighborhoods to make them a great place to live in our state," Snyder said.

State Sen. Coleman Young II was surprised at what Snyder had to say.

"When he was talking about the city of Detroit, I thought the air up there must be rare and the pedestal must be high," Young said. "Because he's delusional. You have 50 percent of the city unemployed, 25 percent is facing foreclosure, 40 percent of the city is facing water shutoffs and 60 percent of the city can't pay their bills. I thought it was ridiculous."

As for education, Snyder focused on getting Michigan kids to read by third grade. 

"Making sure that all our children can read," said State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit). "Making sure that we have quality education for all of our children throughout the state of Michigan."

Then a familiar topic - the dire need for better roads and bridges by raising sales tax. An issue that comes with a vote in May. 

"One out of nine is structurally deficient - you might have read about Cincinnati today," Snyder said. "When you drive Michigan and see plywood under that bridge, why is it there? It's keeping crumbling concrete from falling on your vehicle. It's unacceptable."

He ended with an optimistic plea that bi-partisanship is the reason Michigan is where we are today. 

"Hard for anyone to not get behind that," said Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel. "Why, because that's $27 million a year for Macomb County to help us fix our roads which is not what we're currently getting and it's sorely needed."

"To finally step back and say there's a better way for government to operate," Snyder said. "And that's the river of opportunity."

After wrapping up his address, the governor talked about what he expects to see next in passing a budget in February.

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