December 21, 2006
Comprehensive plan in place, working for Michigan families
LANSING - As her first term in office comes to a close, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today said that the comprehensive economic plan she detailed last year defined Michigan's agenda and is now fully at work building a robust, diverse economy for all Michigan citizens.
"Michigan citizens understand that we are a state in transition and this year they clearly said they want leadership that invests in people, leadership that creates opportunity," Granholm said. "My comprehensive economic plan, which continued to drive the state's agenda this year, provides that investment and that opportunity."
Granholm highlighted several key steps that her administration took this year to continue her efforts to diversify the economy and create jobs including: the first awards from the $2 billion 21st Century Jobs Fund that provided $138 million to 85 companies, entrepreneurs, and researchers; her second trip to Japan that brought additional jobs and investment to Michigan; the creation of the Michigan Promise scholarship; and the launch of the Michigan First Healthcare Plan which will bring universal access to health care to Michigan's citizens.
"This year, we continued our efforts to both put people first, to put them to work, and to invest in them," Granholm said.
Granholm outlined additional successes in 2006, including:
Creating and protecting jobs by continuing to go anywhere and do anything to attract and retain job providers.
Granholm's $2 billion 21st Century Jobs Fund awarded $138 million to 85 companies, entrepreneurs, and researchers to develop new technology and create jobs.
Granholm's Local Jobs Today program provided $323 million in state and federal funds for 210 local road and bridge projects, creating more than 5,000 jobs.
The MI Opportunity Partnership continued to match unemployed citizens with job openings, helping place more than 117,000 people in jobs.
Granholm fought for and signed into law an increase in the minimum wage and the Michigan Earned Income Tax Credit to help the state's working families.
Granholm Administration efforts created or retained more than 86,000 jobs in 2006, bringing the total to 365,000 since 2003. 14 companies chose Michigan for corporate headquarters, including Google AdWords, Whirlpool and BASF.
Educating our kids
Today, Governor Granholm will sign her Michigan Promise scholarship plan into law, allowing every student to earn $4,000 for college or technical training.
The governor fought for and signed into law a new rigorous curriculum for Michigan's high school students, making Michigan's standards among the toughest in the nation.
Spending for public education is at an all-time high. In addition to increasing per pupil spending by $210 per student, the governor proposed a new after school program to help middle school students in math and science and a significant investment in early childhood programs to ensure that every child starts school ready to succeed.
Providing Access to Affordable Health Care
In 2006 Governor Granholm unveiled her Michigan First Healthcare Plan to provide Michigan citizens with universal access to affordable health care.
The Michigan Health Information Network is expanding the use of technology to reduce duplicative medical services and mistakes, improve patient care, and reduce the cost of health care for everyone.
The Granholm administration awarded more than $9 million in Accelerated Health Professional Training grants in 2006 to help expand and accelerate training programs for nurses and other allied health professionals.
Protecting our Families and our Quality of Life
Governor Granholm's Insurance Pooling Initiative made lower insurance rates available to metro Detroit and Flint area residents. More than 4,600 residents have already signed up for the program, which provides an immediate 10 percent rate reduction.
The governor asked for, and received, an additional $25 million to provide home heating assistance to Michigan families struggling with the high cost of natural gas.
Granholm signed the most comprehensive water protection statute in Michigan history, protecting the Great Lakes from large-scale diversion. The legislation fulfilled a 20-year-old commitment to protect the waters of the Great Lakes Basin.
Granholm signed legislation to protect Michigan's seniors and vulnerable citizens by requiring background checks for all workers in nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies.
The governor announced a comprehensive plan to protect Michigan families from harmful mercury emissions. The plan calls for a reduction of emissions from Michigan power plants by 90 percent in just ten years.
Granholm renewed her call on President Bush to cap exorbitant oil company profits as Michigan citizens struggled to pay for $3.00 per gallon gasoline. The governor launched an on-line petition which more than 280,000 people signed and the Department of Agriculture conducted nearly 25,000 gas pump inspections to ensure that motorists were getting the quantity and quality they deserved - more than triple the previous year.
The governor signed legislation to protect children from the dangers of methamphetamine exposure. The package, which Granholm called for in her State of the State, defined meth exposure as child abuse for the first time, increasing penalties for those who would endanger children.
"With a significant investment in our schools, a $4,000 scholarship for every student to go to college, 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," Granholm said.