We Must do Better; Gov. Granholm’s Final State of the State Address

Gov. Jennifer Granholm laid out her plan to lead Michigan in her eighth and final State of the State address. After a trying year of job losses, plant closings and budget battles, the governor believes the state is beginning to turn the page. Despite Michigan's 1.7 billion dollar deficit and high unemployment, Gov. Granholm's address had an air of optimism and hope to turn around the state's fortunes. “We have purposefully laid the foundation for Michigan's new economy,” Gov. Granholm said. In the governor's final State of the State address, Michigan's recovery is still very much a work in progress. And one of the first orders of business is overhauling the state's budget process. “The budget process is broken — it's a last minute, crisis-driven disaster. We must do better,” she said. And if lawmakers can't do better, the governor proposes some self-imposed punishment if they can't complete the budget by July first. “Dock our pay — yours and mine — for every day we don't get the job done,” Gov. Granholm said. And jobs were the main focus of Wednesday night's address. To help provide better educational opportunities for future job seekers, the governor announced plans her proposed budget to restore the Michigan Promise Scholarship. She also pleaded with lawmakers to fund the state's Pure Michigan advertising campaign. “More people vacationing here means more jobs here,” Gov. Granholm said. The governor pointed out the state's well documented economic struggles. But then turned to signs of optimism, citing dozens of examples throughout the state where there are signs of economic recovery. “Traverse City… where Hagerty Insurance's expansion will result in 390 new jobs,” she said. For the first time since she took office, the governor had her parents in the audience, making for a less contentious atmosphere than in year's past. 9&10's Phil Buehler has the story. To read the entire State of the State address, click on the link below.