If you heard, or have read, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s State of the State speech last night you could probably say that it was pretty much what you would expect from an outgoing politician who is at the head of one of the most economically challenged states in the country. In summary, times are tough but we’re doing a great job and looking forward to a brighter future. A long step back from her previous promises that constituents would be “blown away” with the success of her leadership.
After honoring Michigan’s fallen and active duty military personnel the Governor used her final State of the State address to challenge the legislature to approve a complete budget by July 1st and focused on economic diversification and education as the keys to the “new” Michigan economy declaring the old all but dead.
“The old Michigan economy is gone.” she stated in the opening portions of her speech “Anyone who believed Michigan would just naturally rebound without making deep and lasting change had a rendezvous with reality in 2009.”
Pointing out successes in what she identified as the “six new areas” of Michigan’s re-evolving economy that she feels will help to replace the last decade's million plus job losses she took credit for “purposefully” laying the foundation for what will be the economic future for millions of state residents. A future that at times sounds like an economy modeled after the state of California’s.
While some northern Michigan residents feel ignored by the Governor they should be happy that she also pressed for the funding of the “Pure Michigan” advertising campaign that promotes the states tourism industry. Pointing the program out, along with the necessity to find matching funds for federal road and infrastructure improvement grants and the restoration of the Michigan Promise Scholarship program, as the three items she feels are necessary to help create Michigan jobs “right away”.
Sighting an approximate 25% reduction in state revenues since she took office, the Governor put forth several proposals to help make up for shortfalls in the states budget. Her proposals and reforms include plans to provide incentives to encourage the retirement of 46,000 public and state and school employees so that they can be replaced with fewer less costly new hires, eliminate lifetime health care benefits for lawmakers who serve less than six years and offer tax credits to investors that make who venture capital available to Michigan businesses.
Praising the recovery policies President Obama’s administration more than once, the Governor vowed to continue her efforts find a bring jobs to Michigan during the remaining eleven months of her administration.
In her conclusion Granholm shared her feelings on what it has been like to be the state’s top elected official “Well to be honest, it has had its challenging moments.”
You can read Governor Granholm's speech on Michigan's web site at http://michigan.gov/documents/gov/SOS_Speech_310033_7.pdf
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