LANSING – State Representative Winnie Brinks (Grand Rapids) said today that Republican policies have hurt Michigan’s middle-class families and haven’t kick-started an economic recovery in the state, despite what Gov. Rick Snyder claimed in his annual State of the State address. Brinks attended the State of the State address with Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal.

“We heard the governor tell us that all is well in Michigan, but that’s not true,” Brinks said. “After two years of making the middle class pay more in taxes so that major corporations can pay less, families are still struggling. The governor now wants middle-class families to pay more in taxes. This isn’t the relentless positive action Michiganders had hoped for.”

While Brinks agrees with some of the governor’s goals, she said she’s not convinced that his plans to achieve them will work.

“The governor wants to increase transparency and accountability in elections, but that won’t happen by increasing contribution limits and increasing the amount special interests can put into campaigns. I invite the governor to sign on to the House Democrats’ plan for increased ethics and transparency in campaigns and elections.”

In his State of the State address, Gov. Snyder proposed more ideas that would hurt the middle-class families, students and seniors of Michigan. He continued his support for the Education Achievement Authority, which paves the way for school vouchers and makes it possible to allow for-profit corporations to take over public schools. Michigan drivers would also pay more in what the governor referred to as “user fees.” Snyder also called for reforms to Michigan’s No-Fault Insurance law. Last year, Republicans proposed so-called reforms that would have imposed lifetime caps on auto injury benefits.

In his nearly one-hour speech, Snyder did not mention middle-class tax cuts, relief for seniors who now pay taxes on retirement income or restoring $2 billion in education funding.

“Middle-class families and seniors in Michigan need help, not more taxes and fees going to Lansing,” Brinks said. “Rather than finding new ways to give corporations even more tax breaks, Michiganders need real solutions that create jobs, improve schools and bring back economic security for our families. Those are my goals in the Legislature.”