Governor Signs Legislation Changing School Start Date, Calls for Broader Economic Help Through Jobs Package

Contact: Heidi Hansen 517-335-6397

September 29, 2005

LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today signed legislation that will help the tourism industry in Michigan by requiring schools to begin the school year after Labor Day.  After calling the legislation “a great economic tool” for Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, the Governor called on the legislature to pass her jobs package to aide the entire state.

“This legislation is a great economic tool that will create new job opportunities in Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula,” Granholm said.  “To help every family in Michigan, it is critical that the legislature pass my jobs plan now.”

The Governor expressed optimism that yesterday’s vote in the House of Representatives on her plan to invest $2 billion to create 72,000 new jobs by diversifying the state’s economy will open the door to additional legislative action.  She has repeatedly called on the legislature to pass her five-part economic plan, introduced during her State of the State address in February.

“Yesterday’s action in the House is a positive sign that the Republicans in the legislature are at last ready to move on my plan to create jobs and diversify the economy,” said Granholm.  “The people of Michigan are waiting for us to finish the job and I am hopeful that the legislature will not slow down until the job is done.”

In addition to the plan to diversify the economy, the Governor’s jobs package includes plans to overhaul the state’s business taxes, provide a new Merit Scholarship to give every child in Michigan the opportunity to go to college, and a jobs today package that will create jobs and strengthen communities through the acceleration of infrastructure and road projects.

House Bill 4803, which was sponsored by Representative Ed Gaffney (R-Grosse Pointe Farms), requires that beginning with the 2006 school year, all Michigan schools begin after Labor Day.  Granholm said the bill will not negatively impact our children’s education since it does not impact the amount of time children are required to be in the classroom.  Local school districts will remain responsible for determining their local school calendar, including vacation days and length of the school day.