LANSING, Mich. — After listening to the governor’s 2018 State of the State address Tuesday night, Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, issued the following statement:
“I applaud the governor for outlining a plan to create a stronger and better Michigan by building on a record of accomplishments over the last seven years that includes 540,000 new private-sector jobs, annual balanced budgets and record-high funding for K-12 education.
“As we continue our support for our schools, we must also reinforce the importance of public-private partnerships in our schools to give students resources and real-time knowledge in an ever-changing technical world. This will best equip our children for success.
“I have long championed the First Robotics program as a real-world way to get students excited about learning and technology. Michigan has more teams than California and New York combined. Let’s give those kids the credit they deserve and recognize their work with an endorsement or additional math and science credit.
“Talent is most important when you can connect it to a career. We can help do this by giving high school students valuable information on in-demand jobs in their region and connect them to growing careers. Legislation that I sponsored do both of these, Senate Bills 343 and 344, are both in the House of Representatives Committee on Workforce and Talent Development.
“Our criminal justice reforms were signed into law last year to keep the safety of the public as our top priority, reduce costs to taxpayers and achieve better success when prisoners return to society. The reforms, along with the good work of Heidi Washington and the Michigan Department of Corrections, have resulted in reduced recidivism. We currently have over 3,000 open prison beds and our prison population is below 40,000 for the first time in more than 20 years.
“Michigan is number one in the nation for job growth in manufacturing. We are an international leader in autonomous technology and have enacted new laws to allow ‘real world’ autonomous vehicle testing and operation to determine the technology needed to safely introduce these vehicles into the marketplace.
“The Senate this year has already passed $287 million in tax cuts for hardworking Southwest Michigan families. I look forward to working with the governor to provide this relief, continue to increase the state’s investment in education, ensure all Michigan veterans receive the benefits they earned and help reduce Michigan’s high auto insurance cost.”
Editor’s note: Audio comments by Proos will be available at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/Audio.