LANSING – Despite Republican claims that Michigan is undergoing a turnaround, House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) said today that Michigan’s middle-class families are struggling to pay higher taxes and find good-paying jobs while corporations are enjoying massive corporate tax breaks. In a presentation made before Gov. Rick Snyder’s annual “State of the State” speech, Greimel said the real state of our state is tenuous and in need of help.

“Michigan’s citizens deserve the truth about what is happening in our state,” Greimel said. “The truth is clear: jobs are not flowing into the state and our families have been burdened with more taxes. Our schools are more troubled than ever because Republicans diverted $2 billion from school funding to corporate tax breaks. The people of Michigan don’t need a white-washed version of how things are from the governor. They deserve honesty.”

The figures don’t lie. Unemployment in the state stands at 8.9 percent, compared to 7.7 percent nationwide. Last week’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference estimated that Michigan’s general fund net revenue to be $8.79 billion for fiscal year 2012-13, a 5.1 percent decline. The decrease in revenue has led to shortfalls in education spending, cuts to local services and the continued decline in Michigan’s road and highway system.

“Republicans haven’t found real solutions for the problems Michiganders care about the most,” Greimel said. “People don’t want fewer teachers and textbooks in their kids schools, fewer police on the street and higher income taxes so that corporations can pay less. They want leaders who listen, but so far, Republicans haven’t been willing to hear them.”

Greimel said the House Democrats will conduct a listening tour of the state. Events to be held around the state starting next month will give residents a chance to talk about how they have been impacted by the Republicans’ radical agenda and to share ideas for real solutions to Michigan’s problems. The dates and times of the events will be announced soon.

“We know that those who have struggled the most over the past few years have the best understanding of what needs to be done,” Greimel said. “We look forward to meeting people from every part of the state in the coming weeks. Together, we can find real solutions that will truly improve the state of our state.”