Governor calls for road fix in State of the State

Gov. Rick Snyder wants to boost vehicle license fees and tax motor fuels at the wholesale level to raise billions of dollars for repairing Michigan's ailing roads and bridges.

Snyder is making the quest for more transportation revenue the centerpiece of his annual State of the State address Wednesday. He was speaking to a joint session of the Michigan Legislature at the state Capitol.

The Republican governor has decided not to seek an increase in the per-gallon tax charged at the gas pump. Instead, he wants to swap that system for one where gasoline and diesel fuel are taxed at the wholesale level. That would enable tax collections to rise with inflation.

Snyder also wants to let local governments boost vehicle registration fees to raise money for local roads.

Click here to hear local lawmakers react to the State of the State address.

The governor's office released the following bullet points from his State of the State speech.

Gov. Rick Snyderâ??s State of the State Address

January 16, 2013


ï?· House Speaker Bolger, Lt. Gov. Calley, Senate Majority Leader Richardville, Senate Democratic Leader Whitmer, House Democratic Leader Greimel, members of the Supreme Court, Secretary of State Johnson, Attorney General Schuette, Cabinet members, ladies and gentlemen of the Legislature

ï?· State employees

ï?· Citizens of Michigan

ï?· My family

ï?· Special thanks to Michigan men and women serving in armed forces


ï?· Our economy is coming back from its low point in August of 2009. Based on objective measures, Michigan is the comeback state in the nation:

â?? 6th-fastest growing GDP in nation; state economy at 10-year high

â?? Automotive, agriculture and tourism are leading stateâ??s comeback

â?? Private payroll jobs up by 177,700 since August 2009

â?? Homes sales up 9.88 percent from 2011

â?? First population increase since 2004



Taxes and Regulatory Reform â?? Continued significant steps toward creating an environment for more and better jobs. One major step was continuing to improve our tax system.


ï?· Recently signed legislation phases out the job killing personal property tax on small businesses and manufacturers starting in 2014 and guarantees replacement funding for local government services without increasing taxes.

Severance Tax:

ï?· Enactment of a nonferrous metallic minerals extraction severance tax not only replaces the existing array of taxes with a structure that is more simple, fair and efficient, but it allows both companies and communities to benefit from the stateâ??s natural resources in forging a future that makes Michigan competitive for jobs.

Unemployment Trust Fund:

ï?· Saved job creators $1 billion dollar over seven years when we reformed our unemployment taxes.

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ï?· In June, the Unemployment Insurance Agency and Dept. of Treasury partnered to refinance the long-term debt owed to U.S. Treasury. Unemployment Trust Fund is now healthy, ending 2012 with a balance of approximately $800 million.

Regulatory Reinvention:

ï?· Our tax and regulatory environment work hand in hand to make Michigan more competitive and attractive to job creators.

ï?· Since its creation in April 2011, the Office of Regulatory Reinvention has rescinded approximately 10 rules to every one rule added. Total rule count has been reduced by over 1000 rules since that time.

Infrastructure and Investments â?? At a time when investment in our infrastructure system nationally is falling behind, here in Michigan we have shown a path forward through public-private partnership, making major investments and creating opportunity for significant job creation.

New International Trade Crossing:

ï?· By entering into a historic agreement with Canada to build the NITC we set Michigan up for long-term growth and prosperity.

Regional Transit Authority (RTA):

ï?· Not discouraged by 40 years and 23 prior failed attempts to make Metro Detroit competitive with every other major metropolitan in America. The result was enabling legislation for creation of a Regional Transit Authority.

ï?· Benefits: Providing transportation and connectivity to and from job opportunities for citizens; providing businesses a more reliable workforce needed to grow; eliminating a competitive disadvantage to attracting talent and youth to our state.

Putting the Rapids back in Grand Rapids:

ï?· State is supporting the effort by Grand Rapids to work on a legacy conservation effort to restore the urban waters of the city, and "bring the rapids back to Grand Rapids."

Pure Michigan Business Connect:

ï?· The public-private initiative connecting Michigan job creators with opportunities to help them grow and expand has seen $838.3 million more business contracted over the 2010 baseline â?? over $400 million per year on average.


Pathways to Potential:

ï?· Currently operating in 21 schools and soon to be in 135 - by February 15, Pathways is an initiative launched by the Department of Human Services to develop a new model of service delivery, focused on public and private partners and faith-based networks â?? working together to meet people where they are.

ï?· Profiles: Yolanda Foster and "Success Coach" Dana Trafelet

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Summer Youth Employment Initiative:

ï?· Working through 13 non-governmental agencies in Flint, Saginaw, Detroit and Pontiac, the Michigan Department of Natural Resource's Summer Youth Initiative provided youth ages 16 to 19 employment opportunities, work skills education and outdoor recreation experiences. From July 30 through Sept. 30, the program served 764 participants.

ï?· Profile: Anton Stinson-Winters


ï?· One of last year's greatest bipartisan achievements was the passage of Autism Insurance Reform that will save the tax payers of Michigan billions of dollars in the long run. But more importantly, thousands of kids will now receive the early intervention they need to have a real chance at a productive and independent life.

Healthy Kids Dental:

ï?· Currently serving 440,000 Michigan kids, the HKD program has been a great success, raising the number of Medicaid-eligible children who visit the dentist by 64.7% compared to counties without the program.


Financial Responsibility â?? Washington D.C. can learn from the Michigan Model and Congress can learn from the Michigan legislature.

Addition to Rainy Day Fund â?? from $2 million to over $500 million

Retirement system reforms:

ï?· In year two, we turned to our balance sheet. By reforming and funding our long term post retirement liabilities, we have reduced the taxpayer liability by over $20 billion in both the state and education retirement systems â?? that is $2,206 per Michigander.

Employee Empowerment :

ï?· Bureaucracy Busters â?? A social media tool to engage nearly 10,000 employees. Over 1,500 ideas have been submitted and over 121,000 votes cast. Several ideas have already been implemented and we anticipate many more in the coming weeks and months.

Court Reforms :

ï?· Partnered with the judicial branch, led by Chief Justice Young and his colleagues on the Supreme Court. Significant efforts to restructure the judiciary by reducing unneeded judgeships â?? reinventing government by rightsizing the judiciary.



Roads an Infrastructure:

ï?· Michigan is the auto capital of the world. With auto sales and production on the rise, we need to make sure our roads and infrastructure measure up.

ï?· We have a choice pay less now, pay more, later. Investing today versus the cost of delay is pretty straightforward, we can either ask our customers to pay $10 per month per car now, or pay 2.5 times that total amount in 10 years. Investing now also gains savings in the costs of repairs; adds jobs to the economy, and most importantly saves approximately 100 lives per year from traffic accident related deaths.

ï?· We should also move legislation on autonomous vehicle testing and operations â?? to allow one of our core industries the flexibility needed to continue growing right here in Michigan.

Education Achievement Authority:

ï?· The EAA was established to address and overcome the lack of improvement in the Stateâ??s lowest performing 5% of schools and to prepare those kids for college and jobs.

ï?· I urge every legislator to take the opportunity early this year to visit the EAA schools, talk to students, parents and teachers, and see the transformation.

ï?· Profile: Principal: Marques Stewart, Student: Kenta Roberts

Great Start/Early Childhood :

ï?· Created by Executive Oder the Office of Great Start provides alignment of standards, assessment, and accountability focused on high quality programs for all children, and especially for children with the greatest need.

ï?· My budget recommendation will be to increase coverage to cover more students.

Skilled Trades Training

ï?· The budget will also seek to amplify skilled trade training and the important work already being done by community colleges.


Insurance Reforms â??


Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan serves as the market of last resort for health insurance under the Nonprofit Health Care Corporation Act. That act is over 30 years old; time to modernize. Help create an environment that encourages competition, market speed and innovation, efficiency and cost reduction.

No-Fault Reform:

We need to place reasonable limits and cost controls into our system in order to bring down the cost of insurance for our residents.

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ï?· Our state has, by far, the highest auto no-fault average claim cost severity in the country ($44,138 average).

ï?· Three cities in Michigan make the Top Ten list for most expensive auto insurance: Detroit (1st); Novi (6th); Muskegon (9th).

Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority:

Create a new Insurance Fraud Prevention Authority.

ï?· Will partner with state and local law enforcement and the insurance industry to provide education, training and enforcement programs to reduce the incidence of fraud.

New Depart of Insurance and Financial Services:

The insurance and financial services industries directly employ over 150,000 Michigan residents and generating more than $9 billion in annual payroll.

ï?· The new Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services will help create a business climate in which these industries are poised for economic growth and a regulatory environment that protects consumers while ensuring industry sustainability in a competitive market.

Veterans â??

Licensing Occupations:

Veterans deserve every opportunity to bring their unique set of skills to Michigan.

ï?· I am directing LARA to review the stateâ??s licensure requirements and provide a list of occupations for which veterans military skills are equal or superior to their civilian peers. Will work with the legislature to expedite the process of allowing our veterans to get back to work in Michigan in fields such as commercial truck drivers, EMTs and mechanics.


Proud to announce Michigan received its accreditation from the USVA which allows the state to take a more active role serving Michiganâ??s veterans in our partnership with Veteran Service Officers and County Veteran Counselors.

ï?· State gains access to critical data and real-time changes to Veterans benefits that was not previously available to the state.

Veterans Affairs Agency:

Streamlining state service delivery to veterans by implementing a "no wrong door" customer service model for veterans. Will allow veterans to navigate, identify and connect to services regardless of where they enter the system.

Strengthening Neighborhoods and Communities - Restoring vitality to our core cities will be a multiyear effort that will not happen overnight. Public safety remains a priority.

Abandoned Properties:
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ï?· We need legislation to prevent those who don't pay their taxes or leave blighted properties to eat away at neighborhoods from buying even more property and making the problem worse. This legislation is overdue, and I call on the legislature to make sure it happens this year.

Metal Resale:

The legislature should also act this year to enhance the specific tools law enforcement needs to combat theft and sale of value metals.

ï?· This is problem impacts our farmers, families, churches, businesses and urban communities.

Next Generation 911:

We should also pursue a "next generation" 911 emergency system to better protect families and assist emergency responders.

ï?· Updated technology will enhance the quality of information that is communicated and improve situational awareness of emergency responders before they arrive at a scene.


Financial Responsibility â??

Fiscal Note:

We cannot get complacent in our role as a national leader on financial responsibility. The legislature should work to pass legislation tie-barring proposed bills requiring expenditure of taxpayer dollars to appropriations that keep the budget in balance.


In partnership with Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, I will support legislation that increases the frequency of reporting for candidates by requiring quarterly reports of those candidates during non-election years.

ï?· Also: online voter registration; modernize campaign contribution limits; and get rid of requirement for no-reason absentee ballot.


ï?· We should amend our laws regarding conflicts of interest.

ï?· Make sure that the public can easily find out who is lobbying state and local officials, and that there are clear rules for all levels of government on what kind of lobbying is allowed

ï?· We also need to make sure our procurement process is transparent and effective, and we do not allow a "revolving door" to create an appearance of bad faith.


Strengthening and Supporting Cities and Schools â?? Ongoing Page | 7


ï?· Continue to assist financially troubled local units of government and schools and continue work with our most financially vulnerable communities and schools. We must address their operational and financial concerns and ensure kids are getting the education they deserve.

Economic development summit â?? March

ï?· In March we will host an Economic Development Summit, bringing together public and private sector partners from all regions of the state to collaborate on the major issue of connecting our talent to opportunities.

Education summit â?? April

ï?· In April we will have an Education Summit, where we would like to share the outcomes from the Economic Summit, and encourage our education and skills training community to help make Michigan a national model for connecting supply and demand in the workforce.

Land Strategy â?? May

ï?· While the DNR has historically developed numerous stand-alone plans for individual forests and parks, never has a single plan for over 4 million acres of publicly owned lands been integrated with one another. We will do so this year.

Great Lakes Governors summit â?? June

ï?· Convene fellow Great Lakes Governors and Premieres to address strategies for economic development in the region, and combatting Asian Carp and other environmental protections of our resource.

Energy â?? December

ï?· Look forward to fair, factual reports about key elements of Michigan's energy policy that will help us determine next steps.