Governor, Speaker Say State's Economic Stimulus Package is Urgent Reply to Jobless Rate

Contact: Liz Boyd 517-335-6397

June 18, 2008

Pledge continued work on job-creating measures

LANSING - As the state released its May unemployment numbers, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and Speaker of the House Andy Dillon today said that their efforts to grow the economy and create jobs will continue to be a top priority throughout the year.  They cited legislative action on a number of fronts and pledged urgent action on more as critical ways to combat the state's economic crunch.

"At a time when more job-seekers are entering the workforce, Michigan's already battered economy is feeling the effects of a struggling national economy being driven by a crisis in the subprime market and high oil prices," Granholm and Dillon said.  "The urgency to grow the economy and create jobs is why we have moved in a bipartisan manner to pass important job-creating legislation and are prepared to do more in the days ahead."

Already this year, the Granholm administration and state lawmakers have worked to enact the nation's most aggressive film incentive package, expand the state's business marketing and tourism promotion to their largest levels in state history, approved capital outlay funding for airport projects around the state, and enacted legislation to create Anchor Zones to encourage businesses to attract or expand their own supplier base - and the jobs they bring - in Michigan.

The governor and speaker today pledged to work together to immediately implement an economic stimulus package and capital outlay bill that would create even more job-creation tools in Michigan.

Just yesterday, the state House approved House Bill 6208 that establishes the Choose Michigan Fund program, a loan program for job creation or retention projects to qualified businesses.  The program is designed to allow Michigan to better compete with other states to bring new jobs here.

The state Senate is poised to approve Senate Bill 1380 that establishes a Centers of Energy Excellence program to promote collaboration between companies, universities, and the public sector to drive commercialization in new industry sectors that have the potential to provide energy security, energy independence, and economic growth.  The centers of excellence program will focus on those areas in which Michigan has a significant competitive advantage over the global and national market, including the areas of workforce, intellectual properties, and natural resources.

In other job creation news this week, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced a series of new company incentives that brings the total number of jobs created to 21,088, with 9,995 of those being direct jobs.

Governor Granholm said she is encouraged by lawmakers' attention to the most promising job-creation legislation still to be finalized:  A comprehensive energy package that will create tens of thousands of jobs in construction and operation for renewable energy generation facilities like wind farms.  Related legislation supported by the governor would ensure that Hemlock Semiconductor - the world's leading producer of the prime ingredient in the production of photovoltaic solar panels - would make a multi-billion investment in Michigan and position Saginaw Valley as Michigan's new "silicon valley" for solar manufacturing. 

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