LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Senate Majority Floor Leader Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, offered the following statement Tuesday after Gov. Rick Snyder delivered his 2016 State of the State address:
“I am pleased the governor addressed the Flint water crisis tonight. The safety of our residents is the top priority of government, and we must address this issue head on. We have a long way to go to solve this crisis. This is just the beginning.
“Flint is like a lot of cities across the nation with an aging infrastructure. Just as in Flint, the issue of lead in pipes and potential leeching will need to be addressed in these cities. Cities with newer construction are subject to lower levels of lead. We have to keep that in mind.
“It is of paramount importance that we solve this issue for Flint, and it is critical that this doesn’t happen anywhere else here in Michigan — the state with the largest supply of freshwater in the world.
“Governor Snyder also spoke about the emergency in the Detroit Public School system. This has been a chronic problem in the city for the past 50 years. It is unacceptable for children in Detroit or anywhere else in the state to suffer under these conditions. I look forward to working with the governor and fellow lawmakers to implement bold solutions to decisively address this issue.
“The governor addressed the importance of the Soo Locks. Most people don’t understand that these locks are critical to Michigan’s economy and to supporting thousands of jobs in the state. The locks need an upgrade, and we must commit to maintaining them.
“Finally, Governor Snyder addressed the promising new technology of connected highways and autonomous vehicles. I am proud that Southeast Michigan is the epicenter of the world for this technology. Smart automotive technology uses state-of-the-art sensing, communications, and data-processing technologies to solve congestion and safety issues by making existing structures more efficient. This year I plan to introduce legislation to improve Michigan’s standing in this industry sector.
“2016 presents many challenges for those of us in state government. Also ahead of us lie great opportunities and a bright economic future. 420,000 new jobs have been created in the state. I commit to working to help solve the trials ahead and to improving opportunity for everyone in the great state of Michigan.”
Note: Audio remarks from Kowall will be available for broadcast from this website. Click on Audio under the Media Center tab, above.