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Michigan Governor Snyder greeted with boos and applause at MSU commencement

Michigan State University graduates had to pass thru a line of  anti-Right to Work picketers to attend  today’s commencement ceremony.

The focus of the protest was the commencement speaker.

Governor Snyder was greeted with a mixture of boos and applause, as  MSU officials draped the symbol of his honorary degree on his shoulders.

Snyder briefly acknowledged the Right to Work controversy that has dominated the news from the state capitol this week.

"When one gives a commencement speech you have a couple options.  You can talk about public policy or you can talk to graduates….and  believe me…I’ve talked enough about public policy this week," Snyder told the graduates.

Snyder also told the graduates “We’d like to keep you in Michigan…” and he talked about the importance of creating more jobs in the state.

Many of the protesters outside said Michigan’s new Right to Work law will make Michigan less attractive to new college grads.

Graduating MSU student Jordan Bresnahan was among those protesting the governor’s speech.   He says Right to Work will mean less opportunity for new college graduates like him.

"We have to be thinking is this where we want to stay….workers aren’t going to be protected.   We just studied four years to enter the workforce …and now that’s in jeopardy," said Bresnahan.  

Union groups say they will challenge the Right to Work law and hope to defeat the Republican lawmakers, including Gov. Snyder, in the 2014 election.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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