By many indications, the state of Michigan’s policy landscape has improved in the last year and Gov. Rick Snyder and the Legislature deserve considerable credit for changing many policies for the better.

What changes, for better or worse, will occur in 2012? We’ll find out soon when the governor presents his State of the State speech — which may occur as early as January. The governor’s speechwriters are no doubt already working on early drafts of the speech. We can’t be sure what big policy initiatives the governor might offer up, but we do hope they include more limitations than expansions of government influence in our lives.

Proposed limitations and expansions by governors in their State of the State speeches is one method the Mackinac Center has used for insight into each administration’s willingness to lord over us or not. That is, such proposals may indicate how much control over people governors believe Lansing should exercise.

Gov. Snyder would do well to address issues such as government employee benefit costs, right-to-work legislation, taxes and the state’s regulatory regime.