December 22, 2005
5-Point Plan Already at Work Creating Jobs, Securing State's Future
LANSING – As her third year in office comes to a close, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that the 5-point economic plan she detailed at the beginning of this year is already at work creating jobs and securing Michigan’s future.
“In an era of globalization, we must build upon our strengths and diversify our economy to be competitive,” said Granholm. “Since I first detailed my economic plan at the beginning of the year, we have taken great strides toward achieving that goal.”
Granholm highlighted the $2 billion job creation package that she signed into law in late November as the most significant step the state took this year to invest in its future. She also pointed to the 132 companies who announced Michigan expansions and investments of more than $3.7 billion this year as evidence that her plan is making Michigan an attractive place to do business.
“This year, we took critical steps to both put people back to work and to invest in our future,” Granholm said. “The state’s job training efforts are matching out of work citizens with available jobs, and we are accelerating critical infrastructure projects to create new jobs today, all while investing more than $2 billion in diversifying our economy and building a solid foundation for our future.”
Granholm outlined three critical areas of success in 2005:
Creating and protecting jobs by going anywhere and doing anything to attract and retain job providers.
Granholm Administration efforts created or retained more than 93,000 jobs in 2005, bringing the total to more than 279,000 since 2003.
In November, Granholm signed legislation creating the 21st Century Jobs for Michigan Fund to invest billions to diversify our economy and create good-paying jobs that won’t be outsourced.
The Governor called for, and has signed, critical legislation to help protect manufacturing jobs by cutting business taxes by $600 million and creating incentives for manufacturers to locate jobs in Michigan.
The Governor’s Jobs Today initiative is generating investment, creating jobs, and strengthening our quality of life. Already, the program has generated more than $2.7 billion in investment for road and bridge projects, environmental cleanup projects, upgrades to state buildings and community college and university campuses, affordable housing, upgrades to municipal sewer systems, and modernization of long term care facilities.
The Governor’s MI Opportunity Partnership has already matched more than 17,000 unemployed workers with jobs through their innovative pledge drive.
Protecting our families by making sure that our children are safe where they live, play, and go to school, as well as protecting our families’ quality of life. Granholm called for, and has signed, legislation to keep violent and sexually-explicit video games away from children, to strengthen the state’s sex offender registry, and to require background checks for employees in schools and child care facilities. Project S.A.F.E. Streets has removed more than 1,650 fugitives from our neighborhoods, and 32,000 people have prescription drug coverage thanks to the MIRx card. The Governor is also working to protect families from the skyrocketing cost of insurance through her group purchasing initiative and by calling for a 20 percent rate rollback on auto and homeowners’ insurance.
Educating our kids by creating rigorous new standards and raising investment to record highs. Funding for education in next year’s budget will be at record levels thanks to a $300 million increase in funding. The Governor has also called for a new rigorous high school curriculum, as recommended by the Cherry Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth, to ensure that every student is prepared for higher education, which the State Board of Education recently adopted.
“With strong new safety measures protecting our children and efforts to make insurance affordable and health care accessible, we made great strides this year in protecting our quality of life as well as our economic future,” said Granholm.
The Governor also noted that while this year has seen strong economic progress, significant work remains to be done. She highlighted her call for a new Merit Scholarship award that would provide $4,000 to every child in Michigan who successfully completes two years of college, and the need to restructure Michigan’s business taxes.
“Michigan is on the right course to diversify our economy, create good paying jobs, and protect our quality of life,” said Granholm. “We must continue these efforts with all of our energy and focus.”