Gov. Snyder’s 2013 State of the State Address Included Eight Proposed Government Expansions, Two Limitations

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013
Contact: Ted O'Neil
Media Relations Manager

MIDLAND — Gov. Rick Snyder’s 2013 State of the State address included eight proposed expansions of government and two limitations, 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.

The biggest expansion included the call for a $1.2 billion increase in state-funded road and infrastructure spending. Revenue sources for that money could include increases in vehicle registration and fuel taxes.

“The governor and legislators rightly recognize that improvements can and should be made to Michigan’s roads,” LaFaive said. “But there is already money in the state budget to cover that cost. The question is, do they want failed green energy boondoggles and other unnecessary spending or better roads and bridges?”

Assistant Director of Fiscal Policy James Hohman added that while Michigan has made some progress getting government employee fringe benefits in balance with private-sector averages, taxpayers are still paying out billions of dollars more for these than they should.

LaFaive noted that last year the governor offered just one limitation of government in his proposal, only to rein in the state in many more areas than he outlined in his address.

“The governor accomplished a lot in 2012 that was not included in his State of the State address,” LaFaive added. “Personal property tax reform and right-to-work chief among them.”

Gov. Snyder reported tonight that the one limitation he outlined in 2012 — eliminating unnecessary and costly regulations — had achieved some success and that the state had eliminated more than 1,000 such rules and regulations.

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 required to judge whether a statement indicates an actual expansion or limitation of government. For example, the governor tonight called on lawmakers to pass  legislation legalizing and regulating automated and driverless vehicles. In addition, a press release from Gov. Snyder’s office accompanying the speech called for more funding of certain programs, but these items were not noted by the governor in his address.

Expansions and Limitations by Administration
Since 1969

Gov. Milliken, 1969-1982





Proposed expansions


12 (’71, 80)

0 (’74)


Proposed limitations


8 (’73)

0 (’70, ’79, ’82)


Gov. Blanchard, 1983-1990





Proposed expansions


19 (’89, '90)

1 (’85)


Proposed limitations


7 (’84)

0 (’87, ’88)


Gov. Engler, 1991-2002





Proposed expansions


18 (’00)

3 (’91)


Proposed limitations


11 (’95)

1 (’02, ’97, ’03)


Gov. Granholm, 2003-2010





Proposed expansions


24 (’08)

7 (’05)


Proposed limitations


6 (’03) (’09)

0 (’05)


Gov. Rick Snyder, 2011                               

                Proposed expansions: 9                  

                Proposed limitations: 3


Gov. Rick Snyder, 2012           

                Proposed expansions: 5                  

                Proposed limitations: 1


Gov. Rick Snyder, 2013           

                Proposed expansions: 8                  

                Proposed limitations: 2


Proposed 2013 Expansions

  1. Increase road/infrastructure spending by $1.2 billion.
  2. Allow local options for municipalities to increase taxes for road maintenance.
  3. Expand and codify the Educational Achievement Authority.
  4. Make a major budget commitment to include as many children as possible in Great Start/Early Childhood initiatives.
  5. Increase skilled trades training.
  6. Create an insurance fraud authority.
  7. Increase the number of state troopers.
  8. Create a “next generation” 9-1-1 system.


Proposed 2013 Limitations

  1. Streamline licensing regulations for veterans who obtained training while in the military as truck drivers, mechanics or EMTs.
  2. Capping unlimited lifetime personal injury protection auto insurance mandates.