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EDITORIAL: Synder's State of the State brings future opportunities


LANSING (WKZO) -- Business started in Lansing on January 9 when State Representatives were sworn in to office. There are many new faces in town, and I look forward to getting to know my new colleagues. Per the Constitution, we must choose our seats and elect officers. I will remain in the same seat- seat 19- that I had last year. I was also fortunate to be re-elected as Associate Speaker Pro Tem. As Associate Speaker Pro Tem, I can chair the house along with the Speaker or Speaker Pro Tem. During the previous lame duck session, I spent many hours chairing House sessions, and I look forward to the honor of serving my colleagues again.

State of the State

Last night, the Governor presented his State of the State address. Governor Snyder covered a lot of ground including highlighting where Michigan was in January 2011 (when we both first took office). At that time, Michigan was at the top of the wrong lists and at the bottom of the good lists. Over the last two years, we accomplished a lot of great bi-partisan legislation to improve Michigan. The Governor mentioned legislation ensuring autism services for autistic children. He also spent some time about future opportunities and challenges. Roads need to be improved. Jobs need to be created. Government must improve.

Here are some notes I took during the speech:

-Over the last two years, Michigan has gone from having a rainy day fund of $2 million to $500 million. We now have an emergency savings account.

-We eliminated over 1,000 rules. 10 rules were cut for every new one.

-Lansing and Warren assembly plants assembled the winning Car and Truck of the year for the International Auto Show.

-Michigan is the 6th fastest state in the country.

-We reduced future debt by $2,000 per man, woman, child in Michigan.

-In 1965, Michigan made up approximately 5.65% of USA’s economy. Today it is around 2.5%.

Future Opportunities-What did I take away from the speech?

Michigan has a bright future. We must identify problems and implement common sense solutions.

Hardworking taxpayers expect results, and we must deliver. Improving government never stops. Government can always be more efficient and effective. As we develop priorities, we must continue to foster economic growth and strengthen our workforce. We have the most talented workforce, and we must take advantage of the skills Michigan workers offer.

I look forward to continuing to serve you and to work in partnership with you.

Margaret O’Brien


Michigan House of Representatives