Statement on Governor Snyder's State of the State Address

photo rick snyder michigan

Michigan LCV was on the floor of the State House to watch Governor Snyder deliver his first State of the State address. In short, it laid out a largely positive vision for Michigan's natural resources and environment.

It is clear that the phrase "quality of life" will be the new watchword for determining Governor Snyder's environmental priorities. His inclusion of this category in his new "Michigan Dashboard" is proof of that. We look forward to working with the governor and his team to ensure that this state does, in fact, improve all citizens' quality of life in measurable ways in everything from water quality to clean energy jobs.

As more details emerge in the course of this effort, Michigan LCV will continue to be engaged in the process and report back through our online accountability tool "How Green is Your Governor?"

Snyder's support of $25 million to continue funding the Pure Michigan tourism campaign as well as a $100 million proposal by the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board to fund 117 conservation projects was very welcome news. The upcoming budget the governor promised to deliver will be full of painful decisions, but his commitment to preserving the integrity of programs such as these sends a signal that a healthy environment is essential for a healthy economy in Michigan.

Not all was purely positive news however. Snyder's reliance on the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program is not enough to guarantee sufficient enforcement of the essential safeguards on land and water quality. We do agree that agriculture is a pillar of our state's economy and that farmers should be proud of their historic position of carefully tending to so many millions of acres of our state.

That shared belief, though, is why we believe that strong enforcement is still necessary. The vast majority of Michigan farmers must feel secure in the knowledge that abiding by smart conservation policies does not put them at a disadvantage from those who opt out.

Finally, we commend the governor for the tone of his speech. Just as protecting Michigan's beautiful and valuable natural resources can transcend partisan squabbling, so can our overall political discourse. As long as our elected officials follow his lead of respectful debate, we are confident that Michigan can succeed in collectively navigating the complex and necessary challenges in front of us.

--- Photo credit:  www.gophouse.gov