(WJBK) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder touted signs of progress during his seventh State of the State address Tuesday night.
He also called for massive upgrades to our state's aging infrastructure, citing the Flint water crisis and the Fraser sinkhole. But he took more than a half hour to get to his most controversial topic the Flint water crisis - and he didn't spend long on it.
Like any good politician, Snyder pointed out what he called an incredible year and said it was amazing what you accomplish when you work together, but it took him more than 30 minutes to truly get to his most controversial topic - Flint.
In his seventh State of the State address, Snyder spoke a lot about new job opportunities, our robust auto industry, the environment, even agriculture claiming Michigan has the second best cows in the nation.
"We want Colorado to mooove on over," he quipped. "Sometimes when you have the mic you have to go for it."
Snyder pointed out plenty of positives, but no mention of the Flint water crisis until more than halfway through his speech.
"We all owe the people of Flint a solution and we've worked hard to deliver that," Snyder said. "And we are going to continue to be committed to that. I want to thank all of you in the House for your support."
It's no secret nearly three years later most people in Flint are still unable to drink the water. Snyder thanked Flint Mayor Karen Weaver for her support and he promised changes are being made.
"Today we have seen progress, almost 600 pipes have been replaced," Snyder said. "And we look forward to working with the city on accelerating the progress of that."
Snyder spent little time on Flint, he claimed billions needed to be invested into our infrastructure, but didn't offer specifics on where the money would come from - only saying the state needs to look at "private and public sources."
All of which led into the Fraser sink hole and what could happen if we didn't.
"We are at risk in every corner of Michigan for aging infrastructure," Snyder said. "And we cannot take this for granted."
There were lots of shout-outs to Detroit and Mayor Mike Duggan, legislators even the Healthy Michigan Program - which brought health insurance to hundreds of thousands of uninsured. But not about what could happen when President-elect Donald Trump repeals the Affordable Care Act.
"When it comes to the federal government we hope for the best but we can't count on it," Snyder said.
Snyder kept coming back to the thriving auto industry, pointing out Ford and GM didn't go to Mexico - adding they could have gone anywhere, but the automakers chose Michigan.
Snyder says we have become the mecca for mobility and the creation of autonomous vehicles.
"When you look at where the automotive industry is doing their research, 75 percent of the R and D for the US automotive industry are in Michigan," he said.
Snyder says they were able to create the environment for thousands of new jobs which is keeping and attracting young people - and it's not over yet.
"Our goal should be to reach 16 million people again, we were there once," Snyder said. "We are at nine million, nine hundred twenty-eight thousand. We need 71,000 let's put them to work in Michigan."
For the Democratic response: House Minority Leader Sam Singh called for more transparency, since Michigan is one of only two states that exempts the governor's office from the Freedom of Information Act.
He also said "while corporations have sent jobs overseas and received tax breaks, your schools, roads and water systems have crumbled."
He called low incomes for working families "unacceptable" and said Democrats have a different vision for Michigan.