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State of the State speech by Rick Snyder, airing at 7 p.m., sets second year policy agenda.
Gov. Rick Snyder begins pushing his second-year priorities during a 7 p.m. State of the State address to legislators at the Capitol in Lansing, which will air on WTVS (Detroit Public TV) and WDET (101.9 FM).
- Crime: At an event Monday, Snyder said he will announce plans to boost fighting crime.
- Education: He’ll talk about public schools and universities. Steve Cook, president of the Michigan Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, said the unexpected $457 million surplus in the state budget should be used to restore cuts to K-12 education.
- Public transportation: How to improve it in southeast Michigan
- Roads: How the state pays for roads.
- Personal Property Tax: The PPT is a tax businesses pay on equipment, machinery and furnishings. It raises $1.2 billion annually that goes mostly to local communities and schools. Snyder has called for elimination of the PPT, and leaders of the Republican-controlled House and Senate have said it is a top priority for 2012.
- Ethics: The need to strengthen laws on lobbying, campaign finance, ethics and transparency in government.
- Employment: Better access to the Internet for job seekers, transitioning from welfare to work.
The speech previews budget plans coming Feb. 9. With a surprise surplus of $457 million left from the last fiscal year, Snyder has room to expand initiatives and propose new ones. Tonight's address is about "setting a tone for the entire year," Snyder said this week.