LANSING — Despite Gov. Rick Snyder’s assurances to the contrary in tonight’s State of the State address, hard-working families have struggled under five years of leadership from Gov. Rick Snyder and the Republican-led Legislature, Rep. Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) said Tuesday night. Rather than doubling down on Gov. Snyder’s failed agenda, Rep. Dianda 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.

“We need policies that recognize the unique nature of the Upper Peninsula communities that I represent,” Dianda said. “We all need strategies to attract new businesses and to keep our kids from relocating elsewhere in the state or out of state. But when it comes to other issues, such as energy, we have different needs in the U.P. so we need something different from the governor and legislative Republicans.”

Dianda said Michiganders are struggling because of the decisions and priorities of Gov. Snyder and the Republican Legislature.

“My constituents sent me to Lansing to get to work and get things done, so I hope we can do better for our students by making sure that our schools have the resources they need to educate our kids to succeed in college and the workforce,” said Dianda. “We also need to make sure we support our local efforts, and organizations like MTEC Smart Zone that help local businesses get started and succeed. We need to focus on our local small businesses and give them some of the attention and aid that too often goes to big corporations.”

Rather than continuing a legislative agenda that prioritizes big corporations over working families and small businesses, House Democrats prioritize legislation that would make college more affordable, improve education for all Michigan children and reduce taxes on families and seniors.

“Several years ago it was my U.P. communities suffering through a devastating winter that saw propane shortages and frozen, broken water lines,” said Dianda. “We asked for, and waited and waited for help from state officials. Now we’ve seen this administration drag its feet and do worse on the Flint water crisis. We have to demand that state officials do much better when it comes to responding to communities and protecting our resources. I’ll join with my Democratic colleagues and demand transparency and accountability from state officials that my U.P. constituents, and all Michiganders, deserve.”