The Craig Fahle Show

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder At The Mackinac Policy Conference

Friday, May 30, 2014

Craig speaks with Michigan Governor Rick Snyder at the Mackinac Policy Conference. Craig and Snyder discuss the minimum wage increase, the Detroit Water Department, road funding and education technology job growth.

"I think it was a good opportunity to see bipartisan cooperation," says Snyder of the minimum wage bill. He also says that the plan to gradually increase the state's minimum wage to $9.20 is keeping the welfare of businesses in mind, along with the interests of Michigan's working residents.

As for next week's expected legislation on Detroit's so-called "Grand Bargain," Gov. Snyder tells Craig he approves of the $195 million lump sum. "It's the net present value concept, that’s the old accountant in me coming out," explains Snyder. However, Craig points out that there could be some potential for new legislation that could involve the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department. Snyder says he does not believe that it would be an appropriate form to use it in, but he does think the current "Grand Bargain" plan will be fundamental in getting "this whole thing resolved." Even without the inclusion of amended Water Department payments, Snyder maintains that the bipartisan support and cooperation surrounding the bills suggest progress and unity across state districts that didn't simply exist a few years ago.

Road funding is another tough fight across the state, and Craig asks Gov. Snyder to give him an update. "I think there is a reasonable opportunity, and pot hole season has helped to encourage dialogue," says Snyder of a possible solution to road funding and repairs. He also urges appropriate maintenance and good practices being put in to place to get roads back to what residents deserve. However, creating a source for funding is the challenge. The state Senate could move toward a more comprehensive package that could mean a tax increase. Snyder understands this could be met with some resistance, but "as you get the facts, you see we do need to make the investment," and he hope that people are starting to see that pothole problem needs to be addressed now.

Snyder also talks about the talent gap in Michigan. he says the gap isn't just a problem in Michigan, but an issue across the country. Snyder tells Craig that he wants Michigan to be a leader in the economic comeback. One market Snyder hopes to expand is technology education. He and other state officials have focused on community colleges and proposed state dollars toward the educational technology industry. However, "it's not just the educational process, we also need employers stepping up and telling us what they want," along with parents and kids opening their minds to the idea, Snyder says.

--Annamarie Sysling