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Politics & Government

Gov. Snyder looks back at 2014 and discusses future Legislature

Gov. Rick Snyder.
Michigan Municipal League
/
Flickr

Michigan has faced and tackled many issues in 2014. Zoe Clark talked to Gov. Rick Snyder about the past year, and what he'd like to achieve in the future.

A bill allowing suspicion-based drug testing for people on welfare has passed the Michigan House and Senate and is awaiting the governor’s decision.

Snyder says he still needs more time to review the bill in detail. A number of states have already passed similar policies, and Snyder says he is paying close attention to their effects.

The governor also says a key criteria he needs to see in the bill is “that if someone is found to have a drug problem on their first instance that they not be shut off from benefits.”

Instead, he says treatment services should be provided to help address the problem. 

LGBT rights have  been a large topic in Michigan's past year. An initial package with LGBT changes to the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA, failed to pass together. Instead, RFRA has been passed the House on its own.

The governor said by separating itself, RFRA has raised the standard of how he will review the bill, and it will face a higher level of scrutiny.

In looking toward the future, Snyder says LGBT rights will be “a continuing topic of discussion, at least from my perspective.”

The governor hopes to focus on energy and Detroit Public Schools in the New Year, with hopes for a comprehensive energy plan that will cover the next 15 to 20 years in Michigan.

When asked about his future prospects and presidential rumors, Snyder says he doesn’t want to feed speculation and that he fully is focused on Michigan.

Of his second-term governing style he says, “The good part is we've solved many of the historical issues, the legacy issues. Now we can be more forward-looking in a second term."

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