LANSING – House Democratic Leader Sam Singh (D-East Lansing) and Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) responded to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2017 State of the State Address by pledging that legislative Democrats would fight to enact policies that will benefit working families. They also stressed the need to dismantle Republican policies that saddle working people with higher taxes and fewer services while benefiting their wealthy donors and multinational corporations.

“As Democrats in the Legislature, we don’t answer to billionaire donors or wealthy special interests. We answer to our neighbors, who we represent at the Capitol,” Rep. Singh said. “They are tired of a broken government that doesn’t work for them. It’s our job to rebuild their trust in our state government, and to enact policies that will bring better jobs, better schools and better infrastructure to working families.”

The governor’s office and majority in both the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate have been under Republican control for the past six years, during which time they have:

  • Slashed funding to K-12 schools and universities, resulting in overcrowded classrooms and skyrocketing tuition increases that discourage many young people from going to college.
  • Failed to bring good-paying jobs to Michigan. While median household income in the U.S. has risen 20 percent since 2000, Michigan’s median household income has risen just half as much.
  • Failed to hold themselves accountable. Despite unanimous Democratic support for the expansion of Freedom of Information Act laws to cover the Legislature and governor’s office, Senate Republicans blocked the plan.
  • Slashed funding for communities, causing cities, townships and counties to cut back vital services. Michigan now has 4,200 fewer police officers and 2,800 fewer firefighters.
  • Presided over the worst humanitarian crisis in our state, when Republican-appointed city managers failed to protect Flint families from lead-tainted water. Residents there still do not have clean drinking water.

“Governor Snyder speaks about an economic recovery, but the people I talk to every day still don’t feel it in their wallets,” Sen. Ananich said. “Michigan’s seniors, students and middle-class families continue to get the short end of the stick thanks to the last six years of bad Republican policies coming out Lansing. It’s clear that the governor’s agenda will continue to benefit the people at the top, but Democrats will keep fighting for those in our state who deserve a break.”