Ahead of Tonight’s State of the State, Experts Talk State of Economy, Education, and Environment

Give us your take on how Michigan is doing by using #mySOTS on Twitter.

Jake Neher/WDET

On Tuesday night, Gov. Rick Snyder gives his 7th State of the State address.

With just two years before he is termed out of office, Snyder will try to begin crafting his legacy. It will not be an easy task. It was one year ago that Snyder apologized to Flint residents for that city’s water crisis and promised to fix it. A year later, not much has changed for many Flint residents. People still rely on bottled water and filters for clean, safe water.

But in other areas, Snyder seems to have more room to take credit.

By most measures, Michigan’s economy is in much better shape than it was when he took office. He also hopes to take some credit for Detroit’s revitalization after helping shepherd the city through bankruptcy.

These speeches are largely political documents and policy goals for the coming year. Three experts — on the economy, education, and the environment in Michigan — join Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk candidly about the state of our state, as free from spin and political posturing as possible.

“There’s absolutely no question, Michigan’s economy, like the economy of everywhere in the United States, is way better than it was at the depths of the Great Recession,” says Michigan State Economist Charles Ballard. “We have definitely made some progress. But I’m concerned about the long-term.”

On the state of education in Michigan, Michigan Department of Education Deputy Superintendent of Administrative Services Kyle Guerrant says its clear that schools need more support for students to be successful. “I think everybody has gotten to a point where they realize that something needs to be done. And trying to identify what is going to be a hard task, especially if that pie of money isn’t going to grow.”

Finally, Henderson is joined by Kimberly Hill Knott, director of policy at Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice. She says Flint isn’t the only city in Michigan facing an environmental crisis. “The city of Detroit has the most polluted zip codes in the entire state. So, when you talk about the face of environmental justice, there are many faces.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation. And tell us which question you hope Gov. Snyder will address during his State of the State address on Tuesday night. Send us your questions here, and use #mySOTS on Twitter to give WDET your take on how you think Michigan is doing as a state.

Live coverage of the State of the State address begins at 7 p.m. Tuesday on 101.9FM WDET.


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    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.