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Governor Granholm Urges Spending Restraint; Says Economic Responsibility Key to Michigan's Future

June 19, 2003

In remarks to members of the Lansing business community today, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm urged Michigan’s legislators to resist the urge to use one-time federal relief dollars on ongoing spending.  At a forum sponsored by the Lansing Economic Club, Granholm warned against short-term solutions to the budget crisis and restated that fiscal discipline remains a key element of her overall economic vision.

“I want Michigan to be a magnet for growth and development, but the first step down this road is getting our fiscal house in order,” said Granholm.  “We can no longer afford the old pattern of spending money we don’t have.  Our focus in Lansing should be saving and streamlining, not spending.” 

Granholm pointed to efforts to use federal relief dollars to fund the Merit scholarship program and an effort to reinstate new road construction as evidence that some legislators want to spend money the state does not have.

“These are tough choices, but we have to be fiscally responsible,” Granholm stressed.  “Like any business or family, we have to spend wisely today and save for tomorrow.  It’s not just about balancing the budget, it’s about being able to fund our schools, protect our families, and attract new business and investment to the state.”

Granholm also urged support for her proposal to create a School Aid Rainy Day Fund which would act as a dedicated savings account for districts within the School Aid Fund.  This new reserve would help insulate cuts to schools in the event of future economic downturn, as well as preserve Michigan’s high credit rating.

“We cannot afford to mortgage our state’s future,” she said.  “We’ll take the time we need to do this right – no matter how long it takes.  Our economy simply can’t handle budget déjà vu next year.”