“The governor’s State of the State address left me with mixed feelings in regards to his forthcoming plan for the next year.

“Michigan is forecasted to have a surplus of $971 million, and I was anticipating that the governor would have a more detailed approach on how we can best utilize the surplus. My colleagues and I need to work together to fill in the gaps of the governor’s plan to ensure a comprehensive approach is formulated.

“I appreciated the governor realizing that more funding needs to go to education, and I agree completely. Education has taken a huge hit in the last 10 years, and I, for one, would like to see more appropriations go to education. Children are our future leaders, and I believe we should increase funding to make sure every child receives the best education possible. I did appreciate the governor’s commitment to the preschool program and his willingness to further expand the Great Start Readiness Program.

“Speaking of funding options, I really wanted to hear how we can help local communities regain the much needed funding they have lost over the past several years. Declines in home property values and the loss of revenue sharing have completely handcuffed our local governments. There needs to be an in-depth look into how this can improve.

“Michiganders this past year have taken a huge hit, and it is time to make it right. Tax relief and tax credits were mentioned, and I was very happy about that. I look forward to seeing the details in the upcoming budget and look to weigh in on how I think we could help the great residents of Michigan. After all, it is the hard-working residents’ money – now it’s time to give some back.”