Green: Progress has been made, hard work must continue

LANSING—After listening to the governor’s 2014 State of the State address Wednesday night, state Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville, issued the following statement: 

“I applaud the governor for laying out a positive plan for building on the accomplishments of the last three years and solving the challenges that Michigan continues to face.

“I also appreciate his support for my efforts to pass a federal balanced budget amendment. If we are to fulfill our greatest potential as a state, we must force the federal government to live within its means and follow Michigan’s lead.

“Through bold leadership and thoughtful reforms, we have put Michigan on the path to economic prosperity and financial stability.

“Since Michigan’s reinvention began in 2011, we have balanced the state budget early every year and turned deficits into surpluses. Nearly 223,000 new private sector jobs have been created. The unemployment rate has been cut by more than a third and people are starting to return to Michigan. Even more exciting, Michigan closed out 2013 with the 2nd largest gain in jobs over a one-year since 1999.

“We must build upon this success by remaining vigilant and working together on continued common sense reforms that focus on the future.

“I am encouraged by the governor’s focus on expanding export markets for Michigan-made and grown products across the nation and around the world and I will be involved in helping to make that happen legislatively.

“Over the next year, our work should be geared towards making Michigan an even better place to live, work, raise a family and create jobs through continued responsible budgeting, tax relief, investment in our roads and bridges without tax increases, and strengthened education. Michigan’s greatest export can no longer be the bright minds and talent of our younger generations.

“Since 2011,  the Legislature has increased spending on K-12 education by $800 million paired with significant reforms to modernize public education and improve accountability to taxpayers. This commitment must continue.

“I look forward to working with the governor and my fellow legislators to address these and many other issues as part of Michigan’s continued reinvention.”