LANSING – State Representative Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights), in response to Gov. Rick Snyder’s State of the State Address, said that the Legislature needs to focus on making Michigan’s economy work for everyone. Snyder failed to adequately address the looming budget deficit, caused by massive tax breaks and incentives to big corporations. Coupled with tax increases on seniors and working families, Michigan’s recovery lags behind the rest of the nation.

“The hardworking residents and families that I represent are still struggling from Republican-supported tax changes. They’re paying more taxes, while large corporations are paying less,” said Yanez. “It’s time that we turn our focus to policies that will help working families. If we want a strong Michigan economy, then we need a strong, financially stable middle class who can afford to shop in our local stores, keep a roof over their head, food on their table and send their kids to college or a trade school.”

Snyder expressed his support for the proposal to raise money for road improvements, which comes in the form of a sales tax increase that must be approved by voters on the ballot in May. House Democrats backed the plan last term, which included restoring the Earned Income Tax Credit to its former level and increasing funding for schools.

“I was pleased to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find a way to fund and repair our roads and infrastructure,” said Yanez. “No matter if a business is big or small they all need to transport their goods quickly and safely. Good roads will help our Michigan businesses, while also letting other businesses looking to relocate know that our state is a good place to set up shop.”

Yanez reiterated House Democrats’ priorities of focusing on issues that are important to students, working families and small businesses. Education funding is still down after it was significantly cut in 2011, and legislation to better regulate for-profit charter schools was left to die. Legislative Republicans caved to special interest demands on women’s health care, making it harder for Michigan’s women to access the health services they need. And rather than continuing the failed approach of massive handouts to wealthy corporations, House Democrats want to increase support for entrepreneurs and the small businesses that truly drive our economy.

“My Democratic colleagues and I will always fight for families, seniors, students and small businesses by putting their needs first,” said Yanez. “These are the people who built this state, and they are the ones who will keep Michigan strong. My priority is doing what is right for them, not doing the bidding of CEOs and special interests.”