Gov. Snyder touts Michigan's comeback in final State of the State

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Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his last State of the State Address Tuesday night in Lansing.
He says under his leadership; Michigan is making a comeback. He says more than a half-million jobs have been created, home prices are up and Michigan is reinventing itself.

It was what many expected a look back at what he has accomplished over the last seven years. But the question is how will this governor be remembered?

In his final state of the state, Snyder spent most of his speech touting his accomplishments about a state at one time many were warned to stay away from

"The Michigan comeback story," Snyder said. "Folks, we're back and we're only going to keep going up."

Snyder was quick to point out the state of the economy. The unemployment rate dropped from 10 percent to 4.7, our domination in manufacturing, the auto industry and agriculture. As a result, it creating 540,000 new jobs.

"That is more than the populations of Grand Rapids, Warren, Sterling Heights, Marquette, Traverse City and Muskegon combined," Snyder said. "That's how many jobs we've created."

More jobs mean more people moving to Michigan. Snyder had a woman born and raised in California stand up after choosing Detroit over Silicon Valley.

"For the first time since the turn of century more people came into Michigan than left Michigan," he said.

Speaking of Detroit, Snyder, who helped bring the financially struggling city out of bankruptcy, recognized the transformation from downtown to the neighborhoods, but there is more work to be done.

"We learned some things from the Amazon headquarters proposal that we can do better," he said. "We already started that, we're working at that and we're going to work at the Career Pathways Initiative. 

"Tonight is a call for all schools, businesses, universities, communities. Everyone out there involved in this to say, we can do things better, differently with teamwork."
But the governor only spent a couple minutes on the Flint water crisis that is expected to taint his legacy. More people are expected to face charges and residents will deal with the impact for years to come.

"The water has improved dramatically," Snyder said. "We're continuing to work hard in terms of educational efforts and health efforts. To help young people and all people in Flint in particular. We need to do more statewide we're going to continue to work on having the right lead and copper rule that can be a role model for the rest of our country."

While former Michigan State gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar's countless sex assaults make headlines - Snyder thanked the first lady for efforts to combat campus sexual assault.

"Let us also apply a similar commitment in the Nassar case and reach out and support the courageous survivors and ensure that cases like this never happen again," Snyder said.

Given our current stormy climate in this country, Snyder also chose to weigh in on civility in American life and politics.

"If  we can't get along with ourselves how can you be great," Snyder said. "How can you maintain that status. We need to start acting like a family more. We need to be using that as a role model. 

Snyder also forged ahead when it comes to putting more money in the budget for infrastructure, education and attracting talent.

he says he plans to work hard until the last day of his term. 

"During this period we've had huge ups and downs," he said. "It has not been a straight line. But overall, there is no question that Michigan is a far better state today than 2010. "

Democrat lawmaker Jim Ananich expressed a much different opinion offering a harsh Democratic response.

"The future is too important to leave in the hands of an unaccountable accountant," Ananich said. "And a party more concerned with going backward than moving forward. The time has come, we must decide if we want to accept the status quo or are we going to fight to preserve the progress of those who paved the way for us."

Snyder focused mainly on the positives - his critics felt there are many Michigan residents who are not enjoying the same sort of progress.