LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, reflected on his time in the Senate after listening to Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2018 State of the State address on Tuesday.
Colbeck noted that his public service began in 2011, the same year that Snyder began serving as governor. The two elected officials were able to make significant improvements in the state of our state as a result of policy positions shared by the senator and governor.
However, there were also points of difference on issues that will linger well after Snyder’s final term of office has expired, Colbeck said.
“In the wake of the passage of Michigan’s Right to Work legislation, the state has created 540,000 private sector jobs,” Colbeck said. “I was honored to have led the effort to restore the freedom of assembly to our workers and am happy to note that our job growth has also been accompanied by an average growth in income on the order of $10,000 per Michigan resident. This data stands in stark contrast to the ‘right to work for less’ claims by opponents of that legislation.”
Michigan currently leads the nation with over 122,800 additional manufacturing jobs added since 2010. The governor’s speech gave an example of successful initiatives in this area, such as the Roush Veterans Initiatives Program, and also recognized Kyle Jastren as a participant of the program who successfully transitioned from military life as a Marine who is now moving up the ranks at Roush. Jastren, a constituent from Sen. Colbeck’s district, was in attendance and was recognized by the audience.
“In 2010, I pledged to make Michigan number one in job growth,” Colbeck said. “We have achieved this objective in manufacturing, but there is much more work to do to ensure that all of our residents are able to experience the economic rebound from Michigan’s ‘Lost Decade.’”
Colbeck cited significant policy differences between himself and the governor as barriers to what would have been an even better state of the state. For example, the senator opposed policies that increased the size of government, such as the gas tax and registration fee hikes, the Senior Pension Tax hike, and the expansion of Obamacare known as Healthy Michigan.
“Governor Snyder claims that the 670,000 new Medicaid enrollees resulting from the passage of Healthy Michigan indicates success,” Colbeck said. “I believe that any time we make more Michigan residents dependent upon the government, it indicates failure. To make matters worse, Healthy Michigan is not very healthy. As with other components of Obamacare, the projected ‘savings’ for Michigan’s Medicaid Expansion program have not materialized, and it is primed for automatic repeal in 2020 due to the lack of savings.
“Without this repeal, the state would be on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars of additional expenses that would drain resources from other priorities, such as roads and education. Overall, Michigan is in much better shape than when we started, but we could be doing even better if government had tuned out the lobbyists pushing for a big government agenda.”