LANSING – State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) said today that Gov. Rick Snyder’s and legislative Republicans’ annual State of the State address only promises more of the same failed policies that have yet to create jobs for Michigan families or deliver the best possible education to our students.

“During my time in the Legislature, I‘ve seen people struggle under Republican policies,” Dianda said. “We need more funding for our classrooms, we need job opportunities that will build the middle class, and we need to be taking care of our seniors. The retirement tax took money out of seniors’ pockets and sent it to Lansing, and now they have less to spend at our fish frys and small businesses. That’s why I introduced a bill this week to repeal the new tax on retirement.”

This year’s State of the State address makes it clear that Republicans are doubling down on policies that have raised taxes on middle-class families, ravaged public schools and undermined our economic security. This year:

• Families face smaller tax refunds, or no refunds at all, because of the loss of tax credits and deductions including the child tax deduction and a severely reduced Earned Income Tax Credit.

• Seniors living on fixed incomes will continue struggling because of the retirement tax.

• Women face greater economic struggles thanks to Republican approval of a new law making basic health care more costly.

• Republicans continue to push gimmicks to address education including cyber schools and other entities that lack accountability and have yet to show any improvements.

“My fellow Democratic House colleagues and I have plans to bring relief to the Michiganders who need it,” said Dianda. “I’ve listened to residents from my district, and I know what the U.P. needs to recover. We need to increase education funding and bring tax relief to the hard-working families who deserve it. Any budget surplus we have to work with should go toward these efforts.”

House Democrats will fight to make sure that the budget surplus, fixed at $971 million by state officials at their Jan. 10 revenue estimating conference, is invested in local schools, which have struggled under Republican education cuts, and for long-term tax relief for middle-class families and seniors who have shouldered the burden of corporate tax cuts for the past three years.