Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

State of the State

4. February 2009 • Matt Hampel
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Liveblog of Governor Granholm via the Michigan Radio live stream

Published text of the speech


The speech was leaked days ago, but here goes.

“No sugarcoating”

Dept. of libraries, art, and museums is gone. So is the State Fair.

3 new movie studio projects

Green energy: jobs, Jobs, JOBS! [applause]

7:28 3 wind turbine manufacturers announce expansion

7:30 The next phase: predicting an explosion in wind and solar manufacturing. By the year 2020, Michigan will reduce reliance on fossil fuels for generating electricity by 45%. Slow importing of coal. “Buy local” wind systems. Asks legislature to allow individuals to “make money” by installing solar and wind systems and selling power to utilities. We’ll create a “powerful” new market (aarg)

Asks legislature to change how energy rates are set. (what are the details on this?)

Create the Michigan Energy Cops to weatherize buildings (100,000 homes, 1,000 schools), install new energy technology

Michigan Saves program will help folks install energy efficient equipment with no up-front costs; monthly costs may be covered by energy savings.

7:36 Granholm has directed Environmental Quality to evaluate the need for additional energy plants and alternatives before permitting new plants.

7:38 55,000 new jobs since August. Listed at

7:39 State has a “buy Michigan first” policy; asking Universities, everyone else to do the same. “Ford to Faygo” “Bells Beer to Blueberries”

Goal of doubling number of college graduates in Michigan. A high school students can take a free college entrance test. Can get up to $4,000 through the Michigan Promise.

21st Century Schools fund to replace small high schools to replace under performing large schools.

7:42 10 Michigan communities will create promise zones — free college education — to encourage development.

Michigan #2 in the country for well-qualified teachers in classroom. (source?) Algebra for All initiative (any connection to Robert Parris Moses? Follow up on this)

52,000 workers being trained through “No Worker Left Behind”

7:47 Asking Universities and Colleges to freeze tuition for the coming academic year.

Calling on legislature to give families 90 days to work out new home financing to avoid foreclosure.

7:49 Asked utility commission to ban shutoffs for the rest of the Winter for seniors, the disabled, and low- & no-income residents. Extending decision to companies not regulated by the utility commission.

Calling on insurance companies to freeze rates for 12 months while legislature works on reforms. If an insurance co refuses to freeze rates, Granholm will engage the red tape. (no specifics)

7:54 Roundup. One last thing?

Granholm introduces some human specimens; not for interaction, for exhibition.

8:00 Closing.

8:03 Senate Republicans have a 3-part plan. Hope to implement it in next 45 days. Step 1: pass Senate Bill 1, repeal of 22% surcharge on business tax. Step 2: Bring property taxes in line with home values. Step 3: Tax credit for purchases of new homes.

  1. I was disappointed to see that Governor Granholm gave her proposed remedy of the foreclosure crisis only a brief mention far along in the text of her speech.

    She proposes the “Home Foreclosure Prevention Act” which will give homeowners an extra 90 days to obtain financial arrangements without fear of foreclosure.

    This is clearly too litte too late.

    It is further a far cry from the two-year moratorium proposed by State Senator Hansen Clarke in Senate Bill 1306 that is modeled after Depression-era legislation. It also less than the six-month reprieve she publically endorsed a few months ago when questioned by activists during a speech she gave in Detroit.

    The gridlock and inaction by the state government on this most important issue is disconcerting. Both Wall Street and the U.S. auto industry have powerful lobbies and got their multi-billion dollar bailouts, but the middle and lower classes being evicted from their homes have no strong and influential public relations and lobbying firms to press legislation to protect them from oppressive lending institutions that were largely at fault for these sub-prime lending and predatory practices that helped create the crisis we are in now in the first place. Government bailed out the culprits and have ignored the victims.

    Call your elected representatives in state government to urge them to take immediate action for passage of Senate Bill 1306.

       —Mark Koroi    Feb. 5 '09 - 11:47PM    #
  2. So, what does this mean for the state library?

       —Larry Kestenbaum    Feb. 6 '09 - 10:01PM    #