Sen. Outman reacts to State of the State address

LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Rick Outman, R-Six Lakes, issued the following statement on Tuesday, in response to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s 2019 State of the State address:

“It was interesting to hear the governor’s priorities for the upcoming months, and her outlook for Michigan’s future.

“I think the most important things she mentioned were the status of our state’s roads and education. Our state’s future relies on investments in our children and our state’s infrastructure.

“The Legislature approved record road funding measures in recent years, and I hope we can continue working together with the new administration to keep increasing those numbers. Much of this is due to Michigan’s responsible budgeting over the last eight years.

“Eight years in a row, the Legislature and governor have approved the state budget well before the beginning of the fiscal year. This allowed the state to increase its savings, increase funding for schools and roads, and fund other crucial state programs.

“Now that we are on a solid footing, I hope we can continue to increase investments in our state’s roads and bridges, along with public education and skilled trades programs.

“I would like to see the governor work with the Legislature to continue working toward narrowing the skilled trades gap. For years, the trades have been falling behind in terms of popularity among young people. For many years, a college degree was seen as the only way to secure a high-paying job. We are now facing a terrible shortage in skilled trades jobs and I was beyond pleased to hear the governor address this in her speech. I look forward to working with my colleagues and the administration to fill these jobs and continue getting people back to work!

“I was disappointed, however, that the governor did not discuss the state’s out-of-control auto insurance rates in any great depth. Senate Bill 1 seeks to provide more insurance options for drivers, reduce fraud, decrease the number of uninsured drivers and ensure accident victims still receive the medical care they need. I support the reforms introduced at the beginning of this legislative term and look forward to approving this measure and reducing rates for Michiganders!

“I look forward to the governor’s budget presentation in the coming weeks and seeing her suggestions on how we can fund these priorities without increasing the burden on Michigan’s taxpayers.”

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