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, Representatives  John Chirkun (D-Roseville), Marilyn Lane (D-Fraser), Derek Miller (D-Warren), Sarah Roberts (D-St. Clair Shores) and Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) said Tuesday night. Rather than doubling down on Gov. Snyder’s failed agenda, the legislators 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.

“Middle-class families and our students are suffering because of a heavy tax burden and classrooms that are crowded and that lack resources,” said Chirkun. “We need a different plan than the one offered by the governor and legislative Republicans to help families and students do better.”

The legislators said that Michiganders are struggling because of the decisions and priorities of Gov. Snyder and the Republican Legislature.

“We need to make sure that our communities can attract businesses that offer good-paying jobs that pay better than the minimum wage,” said Rep. Lane. “Our state is only as strong as our local communities, and too often they’ve been forced to sacrifice because of less revenue sharing coming back from the state. We need to focus on our local governments and local businesses and not just focus on big corporations and their wants.”

“We owe it to the people we represent to be open and transparent, but that’s not happening with this administration,” said Rep. Miller. “The Flint water crisis showed the lack of transparency and accountability that let officials go too long without taking action. We need to make sure that everything the governor, the legislature and any state official does is visible and accessible to the public.”

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.

“My colleagues and I are ready to fight for common-sense policies that make sure that our kids are going to school in safe, uncrowded classrooms where teachers have the resources they need to deliver a good education,” said Rep. Roberts. “We’ll fight for our communities to ensure that no other city has to suffer as Flint is, and we’ll work to pass legislation that will hold state officials accountable for their actions.”

“The governor likes to talk about the “comeback state,” well the state has come back and bit taxpayers once again,” said Rep. Yanez.  “Taxpayers who over the past five years have seen their pensions, income, and property taxes increased are soon going to have to pay more at the pump for an infrastructure plan that doesn’t fix our roads problem. Now the Governor wants more money for problems that his administration has created. Relentless positive action has been replaced by relentless inaction on our real priorities and the needs of the citizens of the state.”