State of the State Address: What it Means for Northern Michigan

It was his eighth and final state of the state address, but Governor Rick Snyder says it’s just the beginning of Michigan’s comeback story.

The governor says a lot of work has been done in the past seven years but there are new challenges.

In the one hour speech he highlighted Northern Michigan quite a few times.

540,000 new private sector jobs and declining outward migration are reasons why Governor Snyder is calling the past seven years “tremendous.”

“It wasn’t about fixing Michigan it was about re-inventing Michigan,” Gov. Snyder, said.

Northern Michigan holds its place in the governor’s “Comeback State” moniker.

This area is linked closely with the booming tourism and agriculture industries, which the governor highlighted last night.

“The Michigan wine and hard cider industry, I know some of you like that industry. The economic impact of that industry is now $5.5 billion industry up from $300 million  in 2005,” Gov. Snyder, explained.

105th District State Representative Triston Cole believes that trend will continue.

“Northern Michigan is really a boom for agri-tourism you are seeing that expand from the south of Traverse City on up through the district up to the bridge, you are just going to continue to see that growth,” Rep. Cole, said.

“It’s a major, major employer for us and I don’t see the growth stopping,” Rep. Cole, added.

Lawmakers across the aisle say the picture of Michigan, isn’t as pretty.

“There is a little bit of a disconnect between what the Governor says here tonight and the feeling and the mood of the people back home and if their government actually works for them,” 35th District State Representative Jeremy Moss, said.

Governor Snyder took time to address challenges moving forward, including the aging infrastructure and access to broadband in rural communities.

“We need broadband access in every corner of Michigan, it’s critically important to bring back our smaller communities,” Gov. Snyder, explained.

Northern Michigan lawmakers believe that to be one of the biggest issues we are facing.

“It hits home with everything we need to do. We have the greatest opportunity for job creation, we have the area, we have the people,” 101st District State Representative Curt VanderWall, said.

The governor says the number one priority is building up the youngest generation.

“The number one priority is talent, to get people connected to wonderful careers and we can do it faster and better than we historically have,” Gov. Snyder, said.

And with that looking at new ways to fund education.

“We can do it better and in way that won’t leave our kids in debt,” Gov. Snyder, said.

“He emphasized again, more funding for education, so I’m happy Governor Snyder is doing the right things, I’ve supported him this whole time,” 37th District State Senator Wayne Schmidt, said.

With an election coming up and only months left in office, the governor says the state and its lawmakers will have to get along to continue the comeback.

“Whether its ideology or other issues, if we can’t get along with ourselves how can you be great? How can you maintain that status? We need to start acting as a family more,” Gov. Snyder, exclaimed.