State Rep. Cochran Responds to State of the State Address

Lawmaker pledge to put middle class tax relief, jobs, education first
Thursday, January 16, 2014

LANSING – State Representative Tom Cochran (D-Mason) said today that the priorities Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative Republicans laid out in the annual State of the State address only promise more of the same failed policies that have yet to create jobs for Michigan families or deliver the best possible education to our students.

“Republicans took the reins of government, then promptly raised taxes on seniors and took money out of our classrooms,” Cochran said. “If we’re going to have a conversation about tax relief, Republicans should start by giving back the money they swiped from seniors and schools.”

This year’s State of the State address makes it clear that Republicans are doubling down on policies that have raised taxes on middle-class families, ravaged public schools and undermined our economic security. This year:

• Seniors living on fixed incomes will continue struggling because of the retirement tax.

• Families will continue searching for educational options because of the Republican plan to continue dissolving school districts and taking over struggling schools through the Education Achievement Authority (EAA), which has yet to show any improvement in the schools it runs.

• Women face greater economic struggles thanks to Republican approval of a new law making basic health care more costly.

• Republicans continue to push gimmicks to address education including cyber schools and other entities that lack accountability and have yet to show any improvements.

“Thousands of Michiganders have neighbors that cannot find jobs in this economy,” said Cochran. “Getting our state back on track starts with investing in schools for our kids and repealing unfair taxes on seniors.”

House Democrats will fight to make sure that the budget surplus, fixed at $971 million by state officials at their Jan. 10 revenue estimating conference, is invested in local schools, which have struggled under Republican education cuts, and for long-term tax relief for middle-class families and seniors who have shouldered the burden of corporate tax cuts for the past three years.