LANSING — Despite Gov. Rick Snyder’s assurances to the contrary in tonight’s State of the State address, middle-class families have struggled under five years of leadership from Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature, Rep. Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids) said Tuesday night. Rep. Brinks said it’s time to create a Michigan that works for school kids, college students, families, seniors and small-business owners who are being left behind by the Republican agenda. 

“Regular working families have paid the price for corporate handouts for too long,” Rep. Brinks said. “It’s clear that middle-class families, seniors and recent graduates have been left behind. Household income is down in Grand Rapids and the cost of college is climbing out of reach.  We need a Michigan economy that works for everyone, not just people who are already wealthy.” 

Rep. Brinks, who attended the State of the State address with special guest Grand Rapids City Commissioner Jon O’Connor, said Michiganders are struggling because of the decisions and misguided priorities of Gov. Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature. 

“The governor’s emergency managers have clearly failed to put the health and wellbeing of the people of Flint first. It’s the most extreme example — but far from the only example — of the poor priorities of Gov. Snyder and legislative Republicans,” Rep. Brinks said. “Many people are still struggling to find good jobs that do more than just pay minimum wage, and our young people are going tens of thousands of dollars in debt just to get an education. We must put families, seniors and young people first.” 

Rather than continuing a legislative agenda that prioritizes the wishes wealthy donors over the needs of working families and small businesses, Rep. Brinks believes the Legislature should prioritize legislation that would make college more affordable, improve education for all Michigan children and reduce taxes on families and seniors. 

“Michiganders have a right to expect more,” Rep. Brinks said. “It’s time for a Michigan where young people have the opportunity to graduate from excellent schools and colleges and start their promising careers right here in our state. It’s time for a Michigan where families can do more than simply survive from paycheck to paycheck. We need to ensure Michigan works for everyone.”