Statements Regarding Snyder’s State of the State Address
MICHIGAN - Below are statements from various organizations regarding Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State address.
“While it’s a good first step for the Governor to release these emails, Progress Michigan remains committed to advocating for a complete repeal of the exemption for the Governor and legislature in our FOIA laws,” said Lonnie Scott, executive director of Progress Michigan. “It’s nice that now that the spotlight of national media is shining a light on Snyder’s failures that he decides to give lip service to transparency. We will continue to shine a spotlight on the Governor to encourage action and not just empty words.”
“The health and educational challenges facing Flint students and families for years to come are serious and require a detailed plan to identify and address the various issues coming at us,” said Karen Christian, math intervention teacher at Potter Elementary School in Flint Community Schools and president of United Teachers of Flint. “We must help students with the real impacts of lead poisoning, like learning disabilities and behavioral issues. Gov. Snyder and leaders in Lansing need to act on detailed plans that gets students continuous access to primary care, early childhood education and supplements like calcium, vitamin C and iron, which may help mitigate the impacts of lead poisoning.”
“The Governor’s lack of leadership on Flint’s water crisis, clean energy and Lake Erie’s pollution problem will tarnish his legacy,” said Mike Berkowitz, Legislative Director of the Sierra Club Michigan Chapter. “The health of our children and the legacy of the Great Lakes are at risk. We can’t afford to wait when it comes to clean water, clean energy, and clean air.”
“While Gov. Snyder acknowledged the crisis facing Detroit Public Schools must be addressed immediately, his comments fell far short of what our students, all Detroiters, our elected officials and Michiganders needed to hear more from our state's leader. The Governor needed to be stronger and more specific. He needed to send an overpowering message of Fix the Schools Now with a plan for action,” said David Hecker, president of AFT Michigan. “The Governor called for paying the state-accumulated DPS debt but offered no commitment that it would be done without harming any of Michigan’s students. The Governor appeared to reference the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren but did not call for the implementation of its recommendations, other than the paying of the debt. He gave extremely short drift to the recommended Detroit Education Commission, which is opposed by the moneyed charter school lobby, but is an essential component if we are to advance public education in Detroit. There was no mention of the need to close the failed experiment of the Educational Achievement Authority and return the schools to Detroit Public Schools. Although he spoke of the catastrophe in Flint and the crisis in Detroit Public Schools, Gov. Snyder failed to recognize that both have been led by Emergency Managers who have made decisions that put our children and their futures at risk. No child, whether in Flint, Detroit or anywhere, should have to drink poisoned water or attend crumbling, under-resourced schools. The Governor asked us to hold him accountable – and our members are committed to it.”
Progress Michigan aims to provide a strong credible voice that holds public officials and government accountable, assists in the promotion of progressive ideas and uses state-of-the-art web based new media to creatively build grassroots support for progressive ideas.