Students share their most important political issues
In 2014, voters will have a chance to either re-elect or replace Gov. Rick Snyder and the entire state Legislature. They will also have the ability to shape the final two years of President Barack Obama's presidency in the midterm elections.
Federal lawmakers might tackle the issue of immigration reform, and many economists see 2014 as the year the economy finally grew at a healthier pace.
American foreign policy will likely take center stage as many pro-Israel senators in both parties debate and try to derail the Obama administration's deal with Iran to curb its nuclear program. Debate over federal surveillance will likely remain in the spotlight, as will the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
A larger debate over the size and role of government, which has existed since the beginning of the republic but has come into sharper focus over the past decade, will likely continue to remain at the center of political dialogue.
Central Michigan Life talked with several students about issues they care most about heading into the new year. Here are a few of their responses:
Chelsea Green, Cass City junior
"The political issue I'm most passionate about is the educational system in America. Since both my parents are educators, I can see how cuts to funding are hurting students. I'm also concerned with how our current system that stresses passing standardized tests over critical thinking skills is damaging students who are already experiencing pressure to stay competitive in the global economy."
Ty Hicks, Jackson sophomore
"Our nation has reached a point in which there exists one fundamental question that must take precedence over others: Will we reinstate the economic rights of the individual to participate freely in the market as they so choose, or will government continue to increasingly monopolize force and seek to make decisions on behalf of what is best for all citizens?"
Angeline Sawaya, Westland junior
"For me, it's abortion/pro-life. I really care about abortion because I want to see the lives and rights of all humans protected."
Hannah Zimmermann, Midland sophomore
"I have family members that work in areas where they deal with a lot of troubled kids, whether they're 4 or 24 and they see every day that their potential is stifled by the lack of opportunity. This issue is also important to me because I believe education is the key to a better society and I believe everyone should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential."
Nick Taylor, Lake Orion junior
"I don't like how these old, male lawmakers keep trying to outlaw abortion when they really shouldn't have a say in it to begin with. I don't think I should have any say in it, and I don't think any guy really should."
Anna Olsavsky, Rochester Hills junior
"I tend to care most about human rights issues. As a student double-majoring in psychology and family studies, I care about the equal treatment of people in the face of the government. I believe that our country is far from being a state of equality as it stands right now, and that people, especially people who are educated on social issues, should be an active part of pushing for the rights of everyone"