Detroit Today

Roads, Education & The River Of Opportunity: Testing The Waters with Governor Snyder

Wednesday January 21, 2015

"The River of Opportunity has had great reception with both Democrats and Republicans."

Gov. Rick Snyder.

Laura and Stephen speak with Governor Rick Snyder to discuss his State of the State address and his plans for state policy and spending in the year ahead.

When Stephen asks what the Governor will need the Legislature to do moving forward, Snyder tells him that “their approval and support” will be crucial for setting up things like his proposed commission geared at improving literacy among third-graders. He also tells Laura and Stephen that legislative support will be crucial to the executive orders he is planning to present. As far as Snyder’s most popular catchphrase from his address:

The “river of opportunity” came from a very sincere place, explains the Governor, adding that “it’s a huge issue” that needs to be addressed. “Too often in government, we put people in different programs… we need to treat people as people [and have] programs that focus on the person not the program, and look at the root causes,” says Snyder.

While President Obama didn’t have a “river of opportunity” metaphor of his own, Stephen notes that the focus on the widening gap between the haves and have-nots was also an important point in the President’s address.

Snyder says the parallels in both speeches highlight that “you don’t need to be a Democrat or Republican” to see that inequality is an important issue. The Governor also stressed bipartisan cooperation for things like a road funding package in his address.

Snyder tells Laura and Stephen that the road package, his “river of opportunity” and the general message of his address all seem to have garnered positive reactions and, hopefully, legislative support from both sides of the aisle.

“This is a chance to say, 'I’m not dwelling on differences, let’s talk about common ground’,” explains Snyder.