Editorial: State of the State sent a promising message

Published 9:16 am Friday, January 28, 2011

Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011

State of the State addresses, in general, are often vague, filled with empty, half-hearted promises about the economy, health care, education, budgets and other priority issues.

Gov. Rick Snyder’s 50-minute address last Wednesday, with a reccurring theme of “making the old ‘unbelievable’ the new ‘achievable,’” was refreshing not only for its delivery, but the message itself.

The governor’s first State of the State was mostly met with positive feedback, and we agree that it was a good first impression of what he plans to accomplish in his tenure at the capitol.

Making his No. 1 priority jobs was not a surprise and should be expected of Michigan’s governor with the state of the economy. But some cost-cutting and streamlining measures he announced just make good sense.

For example, Snyder promoted “economic gardening,” which focuses on growing businesses existing in Michigan, rather than working to only lure in new ones.

Snyder announced a plan to eliminate the state’s required item pricing; Michigan is one of only two states that mandates the labeling on merchandise. He said elimination of this could save businesses $2 billion per year.

“It’s bad for business, and it’s bad for consumers … item pricing is one law that’s out of stock,” Snyder said.

He also called for replacing what he dubbed the “job-killing Michigan Business Tax,” as well as a 6 percent corporate profits tax.

We especially applaud Snyder’s focus on transparency in government. He debuted his MiDashboard website, which allows anyone to track progress on 21 specific measures in five categories: public safety, qualify of life, economic strength, health and education and value for government. He said this tool will “show results for real people.”

Snyder also indicated support for state Sen. John Proos’ proposal for a two-year budgeting plan, which he said will “force tough decisions” in the legislature.

Overall, the governor delivered a good speech, and we look forward to seeing what he accomplishes in his term.