Governor Rick Snyder's week in the Upper Peninsula has wrapped up. He made 47 stops over four days.
At these meetings, dedications, and discussions, the governor answered questions on a variety of issues. TV6 and FOX UP had the chance to ask the Republican first-term leader a few more questions, one-on-one.
Snyder said he supports stronger education benchmarks in reading and math. On Wednesday, state legislators held another hearing to discuss the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
They were adopted by the state in 2010, but state Republicans recently blocked funding them, citing concerns about intruding on local schools. Snyder supports the standards.
"I think the Common Core Standards are a good thing, because they were really developed by the states," said Snyder.
He said the state has also taken on paying for schools' legacy costs from pension and retirement.
"So we can get some more resources in the classroom, and our main focus really needs to be emphasized even more; it's not just about money, it's about student growth," he explained.
Recently, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan said he is exploring the creation of county-wide school districts. Snyder said it's a conversation he would like to see continue state wide, as he hopes districts can cut overhead costs.
"Are there things we can share between districts, so we can make sure we're putting the maximum amount of resources on the front lines with the students and with the teachers?" asked Flanagan.
The governor has been developing an infrastructure plan, looking at the year 2040, and what improvements can be made to areas like roads, sewers and the power grid. He also said he will explore the area of rail.
"Rail is something we need to look at, and that's what I would describe as more of a homework thing that I've learned from this trip," he said. "So I don't have the answers yet, but it came up two or three times in terms of some of the town halls and meetings with leaders in some of the communities, that they have more interest in rail. So that's something I will follow up on."
Snyder hasn't announced plans for the 2014 election. Labor unions said they will give strong financial support to whoever may run against him, as Snyder still stands behind the right to work legislation that passed late last year. He said that law is creating more jobs.
Snyder also said he is continuing to look into senior issues.
"In terms of keeping them out of nursing homes, allowing them to have more home care, stay in the home. Elder abuse has been a big issue; we passed a whole package of bills to deal with situations there that should never happen. We're going to continue to work on senior issues; I'm hoping to do a major summit or a special message on the topic," he said.