Among the biggest expansions was a call for an additional $65 million to be spent on the Great Start preschool program, although the program’s effectiveness is highly questionable. Gov. Snyder also called for “long-term funding” for roads, but he did not put a price tag on the request as he did in last year’s speech when he said the state should spend an additional $1.2 billion on infrastructure.
The governor also said he would issue an executive order creating a Michigan Office for New Americans aimed at attracting legal immigrants to the state. He held up as examples the founders of The Dow Chemical Co., Meijer Inc. and Masco as examples of Michigan-based companies founded by immigrants. (Technically, Herbert H. Dow was born to American parents who were located in Canada due to his father’s job. The family returned to their hometown of Derby, Conn., six weeks after his birth.)
“Immigrants have long played a crucial role in shaping the success of Michigan and the country, but they didn’t need a special state-run office to do so,” LaFaive noted. “Their work ethic and desire to embrace entrepreneurship needed no government program.”
Gov. Snyder also proposed expanding state government to make Michigan a “no-wait” state by increasing funding for senior services such as Meals on Wheels. He also said he would request in the fiscal 2015 budget that more money be put toward an invasive species program.
Gov. Snyder addressed House Bill 4595, which would expand the scrap metal theft law’s scope and put additional regulatory requirements on scrap metal dealers.
The governor’s only suggested limitations of government were a mention of an “opportunity for tax relief” due to a projected budget surplus of $900 million and a request to the Legislature to pass a resolution calling for Congress to add a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The results of the annual tally are below. The tally has long been premised on proposed limitations and expansions of government as presented in the speech. Analysts at the Mackinac Center are sometimes required to judge whether a statement indicates an actual expansion or limitation of government.
Expansions and Limitations by Administration Since 1969
Gov. Milliken, 1969-1982 Avg. High Low
Proposed expansions 5.6 12 (’71, 80) 0 (’74)
Proposed limitations 2.9 8 (’73) 0 (’70, ’79, ’82)
Gov. Blanchard, 1983-1990 Avg. High Low
Proposed expansions 8.6 19 (’89, '90) 1 (’85)
Proposed limitations 2.1 7 (’84) 0 (’87, ’88)
Gov. Engler, 1991-2002 Avg. High Low
Proposed expansions 8.4 18 (’00) 3 (’91)
Proposed limitations 4.3 11 (’95) 1 (’02, ’97, ’03)
Gov. Granholm, 2003-2010 Avg. High Low
Proposed expansions 16.25 24 (’08) 7 (’05)
Proposed limitations 3 6 (’03) (’09) 0 (’05)
Gov. Rick Snyder, 2011
Proposed expansions: 9
Proposed limitations: 3
Gov. Rick Snyder, 2012
Proposed expansions: 5
Proposed limitations: 1
Gov. Rick Snyder, 2013
Proposed expansions: 8
Proposed limitations: 2
Gov. Rick Snyder, 2014
Proposed expansions: 6
Proposed limitations: 2
Proposed 2014 Expansions:
Increase funding for the Great Start preschool program by $65 million.
Seek long-term road funding.
Issue and executive order creating the Michigan Office for New Americans.
Increase funding for senior citizen programs such as Meals on Wheels.
Increase funding for invasive species eradication programs.
Increase the regulatory requirements for scrap metal dealers via House Bill 4595.
Proposed 2014 Limitations:
Use a portion of a projected $900 million budget surplus for targeted tax relief.
Pass a resolution asking Congress to adopt a balanced budget amendment.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a research and educational institute headquartered in Midland.