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Granholm Announces Conceptual Plan for Michigan Center for Innovation and Reinvention

July 13, 2009

Potential partnership with MSU, Lansing outlined in HAL executive order

LANSING - Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced conceptual plans for a Michigan Center for Innovation and Reinvention (MCIR) in downtown Lansing that would help equip Michigan citizens for the knowledge-based economy through entrepreneurial and innovative programs.

The governor is establishing a Michigan Center for Innovation and Renovation Board to examine the establishment of the new center that would be a transformed Michigan Library and Historical Center through a partnership with Michigan State University, the city of Lansing and other appropriate public and private partners.  The board is outlined in Executive Order 2009-36 that abolishes the Department of History, Arts and Libraries and transfers that department's functions to various other state departments, agencies and commissions.

"The MCIR would be another step forward in our ongoing efforts to make Michigan competitive in a global economy," Granholm said.  "The center would draw upon Michigan's rich history of entrepreneurship for lessons to help stimulate the innovations needed for today's knowledge-based economy."

The MCIR would have several objectives, which would include promoting understanding of state history and the cultural diversity of Michigan citizens; educating children and adults in science, technology, engineering and mathematics; and enhancing the competitiveness of Michigan citizens in the world economy through research and education.

"The concept of MCIR is a modern vision for a modern Michigan," said Michigan State University President Lou Anna K. Simon.  "As we weather extreme economic distress across our state, it's important we work together in new ways to promote the transformation of Michigan to a knowledge-based economy.  The MCIR is a blend of technology and culture, and I'm excited about the opportunity the board affords to discuss refinement of the center's vision and its promise of drawing future generations to the heart of Michigan to learn about our state's history of reinvention through innovation."

"The challenges of today's economy are driving all of us to explore new ways to streamline and reinvent government," said Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero.  "By facing these challenges with vision, creativity and determination, we can put Michigan in position for a strong economic recovery and secure a more prosperous future for our citizens.  I certainly appreciate the governor's invitation to be part of that process."

Nine members will form the Michigan Center for Innovation and Reinvention Board: the director of the Department of Natural Resources, superintendent of public instruction and seven gubernatorial appointees.  Three of the members selected by the governor will be from a list of candidates nominated by President Simon, and a fourth will be from a list of candidates nominated by Mayor Bernero.  The board will issue its final report to the governor by June 1, 2010.

"Just like private sector employers who are reducing divisions and administrative overhead to achieve greater efficiencies, state government continues to do so as well," Granholm said.  "Functions of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries will move to other areas of state government performing similar duties."

Elimination of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries implements the governor's 2010 executive budget recommendation that included reforms, spending cuts and revenue enhancements to balance the state budget that begins October 1.

The department's abolition is also part of an ongoing effort to streamline state government.  This will be the third state department eliminated during the Granholm administration, plus more than 150 state boards and commissions.  Lt. Governor John D. Cherry Jr., at the governor's request, is leading an even broader review of state government that could eventually result in the number of state departments being reduced to eight.  

The executive order will transfer:

  • The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs to the Michigan Strategic Fund;
  • Library of Michigan functions (except those related to the blind and physically handicapped) to the Department of Education and require the department to evaluate and implement additional cost saving measures;
  • Library services for the blind and physically handicapped to the Michigan Commission for the Blind;
  • Census reporting and related statistical functions to the Department of Information Technology;
  • State records management functions to the Department of Management and Budget;
  • The State Historic Preservation Review Board and Idlewild Centennial Commission to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority;
  • The Michigan Historical Commission, including museum facilities, archives, historical records and related functions, to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and require the DNR to evaluate and implement additional cost saving measures.
  • Also transferring to the DNR will be:
    • Mackinac Island State Park Commission
    • Michigan Commission on the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812
    • Michigan Freedom Trail Commission
    • Michigan Heritage Water Trail Program
    • Michigan Iron Industry Museum Advisory Board

The executive order takes effect October 1, 2009.

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