Governor Looks Back
The Michigan Legislature’s 2013 session came to a close on Thursday night and in a statement Governor Rick Snyder congratulated them for a “successful year:”
“I commend my partners in the state House and Senate on their thoughtful, hard work this year. Together, we have set in place reforms that will keep Michigan’s comeback on track.”
Snyder admits he didn't get everything he wanted in 2013. He had asked that the Legislature fund repairs to Michigan's ailing roads this year, and while that never happened, the governor says he feels they had a very positive, constructive year. He says they accomplished a lot and if you look over the past three years, he thinks this has been one of the most productive Legislature's in history.
One of the big items on the governor's agenda that the legislature did accomplish in 2013 was the expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, which will extend Medicaid to an estimated 470,000 residents. However, the bill did not get immediate effect, meaning the law cannot be implemented until 90 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die. Now that lawmakers have wrapped things up for the year... that clock has begun ticking.
“In the last few months, members have approved bills that will make Michiganders healthier, will help them find more and better jobs, will make them safer, and ensure a strong education for our children that better prepares then for careers or college.”
“The bipartisan Healthy Michigan legislation will extend health insurance coverage to 470,000 more people, getting them the care they need to help stay in their jobs and in school. This plan gives people better access to quality care and focuses on healthier lifestyles. We also created an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in which it will contribute nearly $1.6 billion over 18 years to promote the health of Michiganders, especially kids and seniors.”
“Our balanced budget, completed early for the third straight year, expands the Healthy Kids Dental program to cover an additional 64,000 children. In addition, by increasing funding for K-12 education once again, we put up to 18,000 new kids into preschool.”
“A strong Michigan requires cities with safe neighborhoods. Legislation will help communities fight blight. We invested more to protect and enhance our wonderful natural resources by simplifying our state’s hunting and fishing license structure.”
“Together, we’ve worked to make sure our returning veterans have better access to jobs by recognizing the valuable training they received in the armed forces. Another law provides exemptions so families of veterans with disabilities can remain in their homes.”
“Protecting our seniors is a priority as well. The law we enacted earlier this year strengthens penalties for those who abuse senior citizens.”
“And, as our automotive industry continues to rebound and thrive, we responsibly made buying a new car or boat more affordable with a gradual change on sales tax on trade-ins.”
“The Legislature’s actions this year will keep Michigan well-positioned as the nation’s comeback state. But there is much more to do. I look forward to joining with the 2014 Legislature so we can continue working to create more and better jobs for Michigan families and ensure brighter futures and qualities of life.”