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Al Goldis, Associated Press
ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, DEC. 25- Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder answers questions during an interview Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011, in Lansing, Mich. Snyder may have added a bit of political polish during his first year in office, but the former businessman at heart remains an accountant focused on improving the state's bottom line.

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has made improving the state's bottom line his top priority.

During his first year in office, the GOP governor has shaved billions of dollars off future health care and retirement commitments, scaled back tax breaks for retirees and low-income workers, ended welfare benefits for 11,000 families and reduced both the state budget and business taxes.

He tells the Associated Press in a year-end interview that he knows some of the measures have been hard on those asked to sacrifice, but says they were needed to turn the state around.

Many voters aren't pleased with Snyder's actions. Just 37 percent gave him a positive job rating in a mid-November EPIC-MRA poll, while 59 percent gave him a negative rating and 4 percent were undecided.