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Kalamazoo candidates preview Governor Snyder's State of the State


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Governor Snyder gives his State of the State Address this evening, and it may be the most important and hotly contested in his political career, because he and most other state office holders are facing reelection this year.

Portage Representative Margaret O’Brien says she is looking forward to hearing the governor speak about all the progress the state has made in creating jobs, balancing the budget and expanding the population.

But Kalamazoo Rep. Sean McCann isn’t so sure Snyder can take credit for the state’s turnaround. He says it’s almost entirely due to the recovery of the auto industry, and he say President Obama should get the credit for that because he bailed out GM and Chrysler.

O’Brien and McCann have something in common other than their jobs and their Irish heritage.

They are also both running for the newly drawn 20th district State Senate Seat this fall.

   When the Governor gives his State of the State address tonight, he may indicate what he would like to do with a projected state surplus for the coming year.  There has been a lot of talk about giving part of it back to taxpayers in a tax cut or rebate.

Karen Holcomb-Merrill at the Michigan League for Public Policy says the state needs to restore programs that have taken big cuts, to make Michigan a more attractive place for job producers.

 The state needs to put the money back into public schools and colleges, into roads and cities. 

She says using “one-time” money to create permanent tax breaks is a recipe for more financial trouble down the road.

She says a tax cut would disproportionately benefit wealthier taxpayers because of Michigan’s regressive income tax system.

WKZO will carry the Governor's annual address live this evening at 7 p.m.