Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder said during the State of the State address Wednesday that Michigan has the sixth-fastest growing economy in the U.S, and is officially growing in population, as opposed to four years ago when it was the only state to experience a decline in numbers.
Since 2009, Michigan has created over 177,000 jobs, which has been a large factor in the improvements to its economy. The state can also boast about having some of the best-made cars; the North American International Auto Show in Detroit has named Michigan-made trucks as some of the best, Snyder said.
Though there have been some severe droughts in Michigan recently, Snyder said farmers have overcome them and amplified certain other areas of agriculture, making up for the losses. In addition, the state’s tourism industry has seen its best numbers since 2004.
Even with these current positive developments in Michigan, there are some areas Snyder said he’s hoping to focus on in the future. He has plans to spend $1 billion a year for the next 10 years on Michigan roads and infrastructure.
“I don’t know anyone who would say they are proud of the roads in Michigan,” Snyder said during the address.
Snyder said he also believes that by improving the quality of Michigan roads approximately 100 lives would be saved a year, which he said is possibly the most important reason for renovating the roads.
“You can’t put a price on those lives that would be saved,” Snyder said.
Some other areas needing improvements, according to Snyder, are Michigan schools. He said it is disappointing that only 17 percent of students are being prepared for college.
Snyder also said Michigan needs to improve when it comes to autism and mental health awareness, and the state needs to stay focused and be at the forefront of the automotive industry.
Snyder said he is proud of the major court reforms happening in Michigan lately. The state is leading the country in performance measures, court consolidation and concurrent jurisdiction.
Michigan’s court reforms are the most drastic the U.S. has seen.
“I believe that [Washington] D.C. should be looking to us; we’re leading the country,” Snyder said.
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