Here is a roundup of some of the SotS stories:
State of the State Address Pt. 1
State of the State Address Pt. 2
State of the State Address Pt. 3
Or, you can read the text here. The Detroit News has a good summary, the Freep does as well, both of which speak to the energy focus. Peter Luke seems a little grumpy, but he was pretty spot-on too. Kathy Barks Hoffman always rocks. Dave Eggert takes a look at the debate over coal.
Some more fast action, the MPSC changed the rules on utility shutoffs:
Unemployed workers and a larger number of lower-income customers now will be able to avoid utility shutoffs if they pay a small portion of their monthly bills.
Energy companies will continue to be prohibited from shutting off power to seniors 65 or older.
They banned "limiters", and they will require an employee to verify that anyone receiving a shutoff notice does not fall into one of the qualifying categories that would prevent it from happening. Unfortunately they cannot regulate municipal utilities such as the one that shutoff the power to the 93 year old in Bay City. Lawmakers are still looking at changing that rule.
• The economy, including job creation and economic development.
• State sustainability, which she said takes in the departments of natural resources, environmental quality and agriculture.
• Better government, including departments such as management and budget, treasury and information technology.
• Human services, likely combining the departments of human services and community health.
• Education, which would include K-12 public schools, community colleges and higher education.
• Public safety, an area that includes the departments of corrections and military and veterans affairs and the Michigan State Police.
• Attorney general and secretary of state. These are two constitutionally designated departments that can't be rolled up without approval of a statewide ballot proposal.
Lt. Gov. Cherry will head the effort, and he will spend some time asking leaders and communities for their input on making this all work better.
Jim Epolito, you will be missed. Thanks for everything that you have done for our state.