The Michigan State of the State address is about to begin. I will be live blogging the event, giving my analysis (so my apologies for any spelling errors – I’ll fix them eventually).
Alright, she’s entering the chamber (I’m not sure if this is the House or Senate – probably House since it’s bigger).
Oh – my roommate (Democrat) just about made me die of laughter – he said, “Where is she?” I said, “Right there.” And he goes, “Oh, I thought that was a dude.”
Alright – she’s making her way up to the podium – about half the room is still clapping – probably the Democrats. There’s Lt. Governor John Cherry up in his chair.
There’s Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R) and Speaker of the House Andy Dillon (D).
She’s saying welcome and thank you. She’s welcoming and congratulating the new representatives.
She’s now welcoming Supreme Court Justice Dianne Hathaway, elected this year. And she’s congratulating the longest serving president of the State Board of Education.
Now thanking the servicemen and women from Michigan as well as the first responders.
We just gave a moment of silence for those who lost their lives defending this country and state overseas.
“I will not sugar-coat the crisis facing this state. … Our auto companies fought for their very existence, and as the bottom fell out of the national economy” Michigan “went from bad to worse.” She’s absolutely right about that. “Any honest assessment of our state’s economy must recognize that things are likely to get worse before they get better. … Things will get better … because Michigan citizens are resilient … because our battle plan is focused on the three things that matter most: fighting for more good paying jobs in Michigan, educating and training people to fill those good paying jobs, and protecting out people.”
“This is not time for pet projects or special interests.”
Now talking about Michigan now having “a friend in the White House who now shares our agenda. I say this based on pragmatism, not upon partisanship.” BULL CRAP!
She’s talking about him being focused on energy jobs, education, and protecting people. COME ON Madame Governor, the Republicans are interested in all of those things too!
“We’ve made many tough choices in our budget.” True, but you could have done a lot more to fix the state, but you didn’t, and that’s why we’re as bad as we are now.
“I have a veto pen, and I will use it. … The President’s economic plan is a one-time opportunity.” Really? Because so far, I count THREE bailout bills. What’s to stop three more?
She’s saying that our problems will be here after the economic stimulus money is gone. Lt. Governor Cherry will be in charge of downsizing government, reducing number of departments from 18 to 8.
Something about we can’t have “9-5 government in a 24/7 world.” Good point there – I’ll give her that one.
Her and Cherry are reducing salaries of all elected state officials in Michigan by 10%. That’s a good move – I COMMEND HER on that, but I don’t really see how she can directly do that.
“Already, I’ve cut more than any other Governor in Michigan.”
She’s saying that a national survey showed that MI has done more to cut spending than other state in the country. I’d like to see the details of the survey, but if it’s all true, I commend her on that.
She’s cutting funding for the state fair – because it’s not essential to government. GOOD CALL!
Talking about preserving our wetlands.
Talking about reducing corrections spending. We’re going to close 3 more facilities in the coming months. Reinvest in more law enforcement on the street. More law enforcement is good, but I’m not too keen on closing 3 facilities – that means more criminals on the streets, since our prisons are already TOO FULL!
Funding for roads, bridges, and transit systems – um, we’ve needed that for the past FEW years!
We can focus on jobs when we spend within our means.
We need to diversify, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing our number one industry, the auto industry. When pundits and ill-informed politicians take cheap shots at the auto industry and its workers, we (she’s saying this) will defend the auto industry.
Talking about the green auto industry being great.
Hundreds of thousands of jobs being lost since 2000. “These losses have fueled our determination to bring new industry to Michigan.” Good – we can’t JUST depend on the auto industry anymore.
Talking about film and TV project coming to Michigan after the tax breaks to film companies.
Three major announcements:
- Wonderstruck Animation Studios – $86 million in Detroit.
- Stardock Systems (digital gaming) – build in Plymouth
- Motown Motion Pictures – $54 million in Pontiac (former GM plant)
Motown MP alone will create 3,600 jobs. That’s great news – especially for the Pontiac area.
“But our success with the film industry is not an isolated example.” Talking about renewable energy industry – solar panel production companies are building here in Michigan.
Just like the auto industry “it creates all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people.” And that’s a good thing – I am VERY enthusiastic about renewable energy, as long as it’s not expensively forced on the people.
She’s talking about wind turbines (and wind power is something I have always been really excited about – that and nuclear power).
Jobs for manufacturers and engineers – for solar panels and electric car batteries.
She’s getting really intense about this. “The fact that these jobs are in Michigan is no accident.”
We bring them here by beating out other states and countries.
We passed incentives to make sure those batteries are made in Michigan. Within weeks of passage, GM said that they’d make batteries for the Volt automobile will be made here in Michigan. 5 million electric car batteries to be made a year, creating 14,000 jobs.
She’s saying that we want electric cars researched and designed here as well as all kinds of renewable energy companies.
She set a goal for becoming more dependent on renewable energy.
- 3 wind turbine manufactures to expand in Michigan.
- Unisolar to build solar panel factory in Battle Creek.
- HSC – $1 billion for solar panel expansion
- Dow-Corning – more solar panels.
- Great Lakes Turbine to build in Monroe (where my roommate’s from!)
“We all know that we need more jobs – a lot more.” I agree with you there.
President Obama has demanded more use of renewable energy. This will increase jobs in Michigan.
“By 2020, Michigan will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels for generating electricity by 45%. … We’ll do it through increased renewable energy and gains in energy efficiency.” Sounds like a good idea to me, but I think 45% is high. I have no problem with it as long as it doesn’t jack up prices. But if it makes energy unaffordable, don’t do it.
Instead of importing coal, we’ll spend energy money on Michigan wind turbines and solar panels and energy efficiency devices, all installed by Michigan workers.
Ask Legislatures to allow for Michigan homeowners to become entrepreneurs by installing solar panels on roofs and selling money back to power company. Sounds good to me – it’s giving people the choice to do this, and enables people to eventually make that money back.
Asking utility companies to invest in energy efficient products. Good.
Unlike the coal we buy right now, the money that we will spend on energy efficiency will create jobs in Michigan.
Create Michigan Energy Corps - creating jobs and turning natural resources into renewable fuels and weatherizing houses.
Saying that we’ll need less coal power plants here in Michigan.
I’m kinda mad that she hasn’t said anything about more nuclear here in Michigan.
Talking about how she’ll bring new jobs to Michigan – that she’s gone all over the world to get jobs. Yeah, well you haven’t been too successful so far. You can go places to bring jobs here, but that doesn’t matter until you bring some here.
Saying she’ll require (I think it was universities) to buy Michigan. I have a problem with that though, because she wants a tuition freeze in order for universities to get stimulus money. How can they do that if you FORCE them to buy Michigan-made (more expensive at times).
Saying people should buy Michigan products. Buy everything from Ford to Faygo.
Talking about the Michigan $4,000 putting college in the reach of all students. Um, $4,000 really doesn’t do that much.
Michigan will be the first state to replicate the Kalamazoo promise on a large scale. Something about free education, and I missed the rest.
#2 in the country for well qualified teachers in the classroom. How are we #2 with the Detroit Public School system?
No Worker Left Behind: Talking about free college tuition – $5,000 per year for 2 years. Training people for jobs, such as nurses, electricians, computer technicians. 52,000 people. Helping us to remake Michigan.
Added more resources to the unemployment system – THAT’s what we need – to allow more people to rely on welfare!
Asking universities and colleges to freeze tuition for the next year. The problem with that is, what if THEY can’t afford it?
Give people 90 days without the fear of foreclosure. That’s absolutely insane. If people buy a house that they can’t afford, then they should lose it.
Talking about asking auto insurance companies to freeze rates on auto insurance. Sure, if they want to, but don’t make it mandatory.
She’s saying we’ll use every administrative tool to ensure that affordable rates are given to consumers. That should be up to the companies, not the government.
Saying that we shouldn’t strip people of health coverage in order to reduce spending. We shouldn’t HAVE state sponsored health care! She’s saying we should protect those whom people of faith often call “the least of these.” Well, people of faith need to step up and help the poor. That’s their duty as good Christians (as it is my duty), NOT the governments. When did Jesus ever say that the government should help the poor? He didn’t! He said his followers should – that’s why it makes me angry when people give that as a reason that Jesus would be a Democrat!
And wouldn’t “the least of these” refer to the unborn babies as well? I don’t see you protecting them, Madame Governor!
“Is it harder to balance the state budget or the budget of a family who went from 2 paychecks to 1?” Talking about the harships of family being much greater than the hardships of politicians as leaders.
She’s now giving an example of a guy on unemployment who used No Worker Left Behind to go to a university and now he’s working for Dow Corning.
Sorry – my news station just stopped covering it – ABC needed to go back to “regular scheduled programming.”
OK – I’m back.
Talking about hope and strength. “We together will build a better Michigan. God bless you all, and God bless the great state of Michigan.”
Tim Skubik is on now – saying that “Doom and Gloom” only got 2 paragraphs. He’s right – I think she could’ve shown that things are bad more than she did instead of just saying, “This is what we WILL do,” since she’s been saying that for YEARS now.
She never really said exactly how much she wanted to cut out of the government. I will commend her for some of her pro-energy efficient plans, but I think she may wind up driving up costs at a time that we can’t afford it. Allowing people to sell back energy from solar panels is a GOOD thing, because it gives individuals the choice to do it, instead of mandating it.
And now Mike Bishop’s response:
He’s saying that “we all want what’s best for our state.”
“Each one of us has felt the effects of this economy.”
Saying that the Governor wants to use federal funds to fix the state, but a quick infusion of money “will never be the antidote. … You can’t increase spending and debt and somehow hope to resolve a serious budget crisis.” The Republicans will submit a plan in the next 45 days for instant stimulus – it incentives job providers instead of increasing spending.
The House must pass Senate Bill 1. Get rid of the 22% business surcharge.
Talking about manufacturing complexes and other companies coming in due to tax cuts, proving that business tax cuts DO work.
The second part of the plan would bring property taxes in line with home values. Third, a tax credit for purchases of new homes will be created. This would spur the housing market. And he’s absolutely right – that was one of the things my parents looked into was the huge jump in taxes we would’ve payed if we moved this past summer.
Review each item in the state budget and find savings – good!
We must “be certain that state resources are used efficiently.” Absolutely!
Talking about opportunities coming with adversity – leaders need to rise up and “take the reins that will lead us back to prosperity. … Time for us to fix Michigan. … Thank you … God bless you, our families, and our great state of Michigan.”
Alright – I’m off to a meeting – I’ll spell check this and finish my analysis when I get back.