News Story

Gov. Snyder’s 2012 State of the State Address Included Five Proposed Government Expansions, One Limitation

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012
Contact: Michael D. LaFaive
Fiscal Policy Director

MIDLAND — Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2012 State of the State address included five proposed expansions of government and one limitation, according to Mackinac Center Fiscal Policy Director Michael D. LaFaive, who has tallied and categorized annual State of the State addresses as far back as 1969.

“Gov. Snyder seemed to focus more on new programs than on limiting government’s scope,” said LaFaive. “However, if last year’s address is an indicator, he may be understating his plans to lessen the impact and cost of government in the coming year. Like last year, the governor intends a series of legislative updates, which along with his budget presentation may give us a better understanding of his policy agenda.”

LaFaive noted that last year the governor offered a disappointing three limitations of government in his proposal, only to rein in the state in many more areas than he outlined in his address.

“I am hopeful that the actual work accomplished by his administration is once again more inspiring than the vision laid forth tonight,” LaFaive added.

The results of the annual tally are below. The tally has long been premised on proposed limitations and expansions of government as presented in the speech. Analysts at the Mackinac Center are sometimes forced to make judgments as to whether a particular proposal deserves inclusion or not. For example, the governor tonight mentioned his urban initiative — first announced in last year’s address. What went unmentioned in the tonight’s speech — but reported by at least one media outlet — was that the governor intends to expand that initiative by opening three new government offices. In addition, the governor implied that a new transportation system might be created and he called for investing in Michigan roads and highways, but details are too sketchy to label these an expansion of government.

The results of the annual tally are below.


Expansions and Limitations by Administration
since 1969*
Gov. Milliken, 1969-1982 Avg. High Low
  Proposed expansions 5.6 12 (’71, 80) 0 (’74)
  Proposed limitations 2.9 8 (’73) 0 (’70, ’79, ’82)
Gov. Blanchard, 1983-1990 Avg. High Low
  Proposed expansions 8.6 19 (’89, '90) 1 (’85)
  Proposed limitations 2.1 7 (’84) 0 (’87, ’88)
Gov. Engler, 1991-2002 Avg. High Low
  Proposed expansions 8.4 18 (’00) 3 (’91)
  Proposed limitations 4.3 11 (’95) 1 (’02, ’97, ’03)
Gov. Granholm, 2003-2010 Avg. High Low
  Proposed expansions 16.25 24 (’08) 7 (’05)
  Proposed limitations 3 6 (’03) (’09) 0 (’05)
Gov. Rick Snyder, 2011-2012 Avg. High Low
  Proposed expansions 7 9 (’11) 5 (’12)
  Proposed limitations 2 3 (’11) 1 (’12)


Proposed 2012 Expansions

  1. Place into statute the "Education Achievement Authority."
  2. Pass an autism insurance mandate.
  3. Create a "Michigan Health Marketplace," (also called an "exchange").
  4. "Pure Michigan Fit" program.
  5. Develop a new bus rapid transit system in southeast Michigan.


Proposed 2012 Limitations

  1. Continue working to eliminate unnecessary and costly regulations.

*These tallies are not based on exact science. Some decisions require judgment calls based on the highly nuanced language of these addresses.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.