Casperson reacts to governor’s State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, issued the following statement Tuesday night after Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his 2017 State of the State address:

“Tonight, the governor delivered his 2017 State of the State address, highlighting accomplishments that our state has achieved, while addressing challenges that lie ahead.

“It is not hard to look at our state’s successes and be proud. In only a few years, Michigan has grown from the ashes of a single-state recession — with plummeting employment, home ownership and overall economic outlook — into a state on the rise. Today, we have a 15-year-low unemployment rate and tens of thousands of jobs to fill, workers have higher personal income growth, home values are increasing, and we lead the region in the number of people moving here, with five straight years of population increases.

“We have also seen tremendous growth in key industries that drive our economy. Agriculture, tourism, and manufacturing continue to push Michigan forward, attracting talented workers to well-paying jobs. I was encouraged that the governor highlighted the Upper Peninsula and its vital role in the state’s tourism industry.

“Beyond the highlights, though, there are challenges ahead. Michigan’s infrastructure needs work. The Senate led the way in adopting new policies to improve and fund our roads and bridges for the long term, and we similarly must work together to address other pressing infrastructure needs. That includes upgrading the Soo Locks, which I am glad the governor mentioned.

“Our state is defined by its natural resources, and we need to better use those natural resources strategically and sustainably, ensuring a good balance between economic opportunity, environmental health and property owner rights. Along those lines we should also continue to work to make government more efficient, effective, and accountable to taxpayers.

“We’ve accomplished much and have come a long way in recent years, but challenges remain and I will continue fighting for the hardworking U.P. families of the 38th District.”