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State of the State predictions

2:53 AM, Jan 16, 2014   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Gov. Rick Snyder's State of the State speech will be a chance for the Republican governor to set his agenda before a potential re-election bid.

Snyder put out a commercial for re-election, but there is no official announcement. Yet the governor will be in full campaign mode at Thursday's State of the State address.

"It's a way for the governor to kick off the election season," says GRCC political science professor Keith St. Clair. "He has the perk of governor to have the bully pulpit."

St. Clair says Snyder will likely focus and take credit for the positives.

"Snynder has put the budget on strong financial footing, passed a budget earlier and brought the state into a surplus, so that Lansing is now talking about a break for voters-- either a tax cut or possible rebate."

While the economy doing better will be a positive, he'll also have to woo his critics.

"Rick Snyder has alienated a lot of people -- especially Democrats -- with the passage of right to work," say the professor.

St. Clair says the governor may also offer an increase of the minimum wage to regain voters in the middle and working class.

The professor says Gov. Snyder also needs to mend some fences in his own party.  He aliented many Republicans by supporting new taxes and the expansion of Medicaid.

"He's also aliented retirees by passing a tax on pensions," adds St. Clair.

Gov. Snyder's State of the State address will be at 7 p.m. Thursday.  We will have a live stream of the speech here on WZZM13.com, and we will have the entire address live on the 13 On Target Weather Network.

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