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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).

The governor has released few details about what he’ll say, but following are some areas reported by The Detroit News and Free Press as likely topics:

  • 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.


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