LANSING –State Representative Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor) called on Gov. Rick Snyder to begin a new, bipartisan, problem-solving era in state government Wednesday.

“Tonight, I hope we see more of the Gov. Snyder we met during the 2010 campaign and less of the Gov. Snyder we’ve witnessed over the last two years. I miss the nonpartisan nerd, bent on solving problems and not on settling political scores,” Irwin said.

Coming on the heels of a historically partisan and divisive lame duck session, Snyder is hoping to distance himself from the unpopular policies he chose to sign into law over the last month.

It is expected that Snyder will attempt to bolster his record on education, infrastructure and making Michigan an attractive place for young talent. That might prove difficult given the massive cuts to K-12 and higher education programs in our state coupled with the discriminatory laws he has signed to deny equal treatment to gays and lesbians in the workplace.

“Over the first two years of Gov. Snyder’s leadership, two main trends have emerged: one, reduced taxes for the wealthy combined with higher taxes for low income workers; and two, historically large cuts to education programs. It is especially important that we monitor to what extend the governor’s budget recommendations reflect what is in his speech tonight,” the representative said.

“Listen carefully tonight to anything that ‘isn’t on the governor’s agenda.’ If history is any guide, those are the proposals we’ll see moving forward in Lansing in the coming months,” Irwin said.