Governor touches on Promise Scholarship, hammers on jobs, and goes out with a new sound bite

Gov. Jennifer Granholm gave her last state of the state address Wednesday night live on television and in front of a friendly crowd of legislators and business leaders.

Even her frugal Republican mom and dad who flew in for $20 from California were in the audience, which Granhom turned into a lesson: pinch pennies. Granholm proposed several initiatives she would like passed within the year before a new administration is elected.

One was to offer retirement to many state employees and to not fill those positions again. That money, instead, would be reinvested into education and jobs. Granholm also urged the Michigan Senate to pass a bill similar to one passed in the House to remove lifetime health care for state legislators.

The Michigan Promise Scholarship, which was removed from the current state budget despite promises to keep it in, will apparently be added back into the budget. Granholm said that the scholarship’s new purpose will be to keep college graduates in Michigan.

The speech from the departing governor, who said near her previous reelection that we would be “blown away” in five years, was still reaching for the future for an economic turnaround.

She also spent a considerable amount of time listing off, until she ran out of breath, specific jobs being created by specific companies in the Michigan area. She spoke of a “new Michigan” on “the other side,” almost as if the state exists in some other dimension with an abundance of clean-energy jobs and funding for education.

Commentators following the speech had various opinions of the speech, calling it both campain-esque and a last ditch attempt at creating a positive legacy. Granholm closed the speech by thanking the people close to her for “fighting until the last day.” She told them, “You take my breath away.” Which very well might replace the popular “In five years, you’ll be blown away” sound bite played on local radio.