Governor Rick Snyder addressed an audience of hundreds Thursday afternoon at the Amway Grand Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids.  The group was gathered for the West Michigan Policy Forum, which is made up of local business and community leaders.  Governor Snyder spoke on several subjects during a 20 minute speech, including the WMPF's agenda which was voted on earlier that morning.

The agenda was broken down into the top 5 most pressing issues, in order.

  1. New International Trade Crossing and new freight tunnel from Michigan to Canada.
  2. Improve transportation infrastructure by creating policies that maximize federal matching funds.
  3. Develop common K-12 and higher education metrics that prepare Michigan for future workforce needs.
  4. Dedicate funds for Early Childhood development in the state budget.
  5. Support polices that enable local government consolidation.

The much talked about right to work legislation did not make the forums top 5 list, but Governor Snyder still addressed the issue:

Well I think many people know that I've always said right to work is not on my agenda...  The labor proposal that I call the back in time proposal, [or] the back in time amendment.  Which brings up many issues, and I'm afraid that can help provoke discussions on many labor related issues that I think are divisive.  So, it's typically not been on my agenda and I'm somewhat concerned about the positioning of having something that controversial on the ballot.  Hopefully it won't lead to other issues or promises.

- Governor Snyder

Governor Snyder addressed each of the issues brought up on the WMPF's agenda.  He responded to transporation improvement by saying:

... There is going to be a start of hearings, I believe on the Senate side, on transportation reforms and funding.  I encourage you to be loud participants in terms of looking at the long term and looking at the total cost over an extended period of time.  Again, it's a capital investment.  And hopefully we can roll into the later part of the year or next year to get some comprehensive reform put in place.  Because if we invest more it will save us all more, raise more jobs, and we will all be better off.

- Governor Snyder

You can listen to Governor Snyder's entire response to the transportation question below.

Governor Snyder addresses his view on the work force and why he likes to refer to it as "talent."  You can listen to his entire speech on talent in Michigan below.