Excerpts from Gov. Granholm's State of the State Address

By: Lansing Associated Press
By: Lansing Associated Press

"The state of the state tonight is one of total determination: Michigan will attract and keep good jobs. Tonight I will offer a seven-point plan for reaching our shared destination: a Michigan that is an economic powerhouse state in the 21st Century. I prefer to think of it as seven roads that lead to the place we all want to reach: a strong economy that creates good jobs.''

"We are doing more with less. If you seek a leaner government, look about you.''

"So now is the time for quiet courageous local leadership to get beyond turf and politics to consider new partnerships with one another: pooling resources, sharing services, technology, office space, even employees. School districts must reduce the bureaucracy, any layer of clay that blocks money from getting to the classroom. Universities must work to coordinate, not duplicate, specialties and services. Expensive hospitals must do the same.''

"In two weeks, budget director Mary Lannoye and I will present a budget proposal to this assembly that will impact the long-term economic well-being of Michigan. You can count on this: it will be balanced, it will protect our quality of life, and everything in it will strengthen our ability to grow good jobs.''

"You have before you legislation to ensure that any trash shipped to our landfills meets our high Michigan standards. I urge you today _ pass that legislation and make it Michigan law. Michigan was not meant to be the region's trash can. Let's close the deal and put a lid on it forever.''

"In this election season, all of us must specifically call on all those who seek the presidency on both sides to stand up for robust trade, lots of it, but fair trade, so that our outstanding companies and hardworking people will have good jobs in the years ahead. If the playing field in the ruthless game of global competition is level, our Michigan businesses and workers will win every time.''

"Because engineers and technology workers are so important to the Michigan work force, beginning in the next academic year, we will make zero percent loans available to students in our public universities who pursue engineering and technology degrees. They'll keep that zero percent rate as long as they continue to study and work in Michigan.''

"I am particularly pleased to announce tonight that by 2007, we will have brought high-speed Internet access to every corner of our state. Just as 50 years ago we used the strength of steel to link our two peninsulas, we will now use the power of this new technology to link every community in our state to a world of economic opportunity. Broadband will be this generation's Mackinac Bridge.''

"Last year in Lansing we could have played a game of stalemate. We could have allowed our egos, our most trivial partisan instincts, and the cynics' fascination with feuds and fights to take us away from what is best in us: our patience, honesty, persistence, faith, common sense, and perhaps most important, our universally shared desire to make things better for the people we serve. But we did not. Instead, we worked together to get good things done for the people of this state.''



A List of Major Points from Gov. Granholm's State of the State

BUSINESS:
Create three new venture capital funds through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to attract new businesses to the state and allow those already in the state to expand. It also is intended to attract federal and private dollars to make more than $500 million available for starting or expanding new businesses.

DEVELOPMENT:
Allow the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to offer in 12 cities incentives and financing to create unique downtown developments where loft housing, art galleries and technology startups all can share the same historic brick building.

Target arts and cultural grants toward main street revitalization in those cities by the state Department of History, Arts and Libraries.

EDUCATION:
Require that college-bound high school students serve the community for at least 40 hours prior to graduating from high school to collect the $2,500 Merit Award Scholarship.

ENVIRONMENT:
Start a new air quality permitting process that will cut from 18 months to less than 6 months the amount of time it takes for a business to get an air permit.

HEALTH CARE:
Introduce a Michigan Prescription Discount Card, called the MI-Rx Card, that will pool purchasing to allow as many as 200,000 senior citizens and working people with no insurance to cut the cost of their prescription drugs by up to 20 percent.

Create the Michigan Third Share Partnership, in which an employee pays a third of the health insurance premium, the company pays a third and the state pays a third through a tax credit to the business.

HIGHER EDUCATION:
Make zero-percent loans available to students in Michigan's 15 public universities pursuing engineering and technology degrees. The loans will stay at zero-percent rate as long as those students and graduates continue to study and work in Michigan.

Ask university presidents to not raise tuition beyond the rate of inflation to keep down the cost of a college education. The Michigan State University Board of Trustees agreed to the tuition request at its meeting Tuesday.

SENIORS:
Create an Elder Abuse Task Force to find ways to use the full weight of the law to crack down on those who target senior citizens.

Stiffen penalties for those who prey on senior and vulnerable citizens with get-rich-quick schemes, fake prize giveaways and other scams.



Republicans Mostly Agree with Proposals in Granholm's Address

Most Republican lawmakers said tonight they agree with Governor Granholm's proposals to spur job growth, lower the cost of health care and improve the education system.

The Democratic governor laid out her plan for the state in her second State of the State address tonight in the state Capitol.

House Speaker Rick Johnson of LeRoy and Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema of Wyoming are both Republicans.

They like the governor's plan to require college-bound students serve the community for at least 40 hours prior to graduating from high school to collect the $2,500 Merit Award Scholarship.

But a number of other Republican lawmakers said the governor's second State of the State address lacked specific details to improve the Michigan's slow economy.


WILX 500 American Road Lansing, MI 48911 517-393-0110
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 602052