Gov. Rick Snyder issued the following statement upon the Michigan Legislature's completion of its 2013 session:
"I commend my partners in the state House and Senate on their thoughtful, hard work this year. Together, we have set in place reforms that will keep Michigan's comeback on track.
"In the last few months, members have approved bills that will make Michiganders healthier, will help them find more and better jobs, will make them safer, and ensure a strong education for our children that better prepares them for careers or college.
"The bipartisan Healthy Michigan legislation will extend health insurance coverage to 470,000 more people, getting them the care they need to help stay in their jobs and in school. This plan gives people better access to quality care and focuses on healthier lifestyles. We also created an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan in which it will contribute nearly $1.6 billion over 18 years to promote the health of Michiganders, especially kids and seniors.
"Our balanced budget, completed early for the third straight year, expands the Healthy Kids Dental program to cover an additional 64,000 children. In addition, by increasing funding for K-12 education once again, we put up to 18,000 new kids into preschool.
"A strong Michigan requires cities with safe neighborhoods. Legislation will help communities fight blight. We invested more to protect and enhance our wonderful natural resources by simplifying our state's hunting and fishing license structure.
"Together, we've worked to make sure our returning veterans have better access to jobs by recognizing the valuable training they received in the armed forces. Another law provides exemptions so families of veterans with disabilities can remain in their homes.
"Protecting our seniors is a priority as well. The law we enacted earlier this year strengthens penalties for those who abuse senior citizens.
"And, as our automotive industry continues to rebound and thrive, we responsibly made buying a new car or boat more affordable with a gradual change on sales tax on trade-ins.
"The Legislature's actions this year will keep Michigan well-positioned as the nation's comeback state. But there is m