The Innovators: Governor Granholm

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Granholm on Michigan’s Greatest Challenge
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Granholm on her
Life Experience

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Granholm on
Being a Role Model

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Granholm on
Finding Common Ground

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Granholm Giving Advice to High School Students
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Elected: 2002 as Governor
Next Election: 2006
Hometown: Lansing, MI
Birth Date: February 5, 1959
Prior Experience: Attorney General (1998-2002)
Family: Married with three children.
Heartland Highlight: Granholm was born in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Governor Granholm’s Campaign Website

Governor Granholm’s Official Website

Jennifer Granholm

Governor of Michigan

Elected as the first woman chief executive in Michigan’s history, Jennifer Granholm became Michigan’s 47th governor in 2003. Since taking office, Governor Granholm has worked diligently to contain and reverse the drastic effects of a nationwide economic downturn that threatened Michigan’s fiscal stability and quality of life. Granholm rescued Michigan from a $3 billion budget deficit all the while focusing on diversifying and modifying Michigan’s economy and increasing spending for public education.

With daunting challenges facing Michigan’s economy, Governor Granholm implemented an innovative Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow plan that has helped train unemployed workers and create high quality jobs. Today, as the economy turns around, Governor Granholm continues to insist on forming a more diversified economy that better adjusts to our rapidly changing world economy.

To do so, Granholm believes it is absolutely crucial that Michigan’s families and individuals have access to high quality education and healthcare services. As the first to attend college in her family, Governor Granholm understands the importance of a collegiate education, especially in today’s competitive economy. Granholm is the first governor to propose a program that would give a $4,000 grant to any Michigan student who finished two full years of college.

Governor Granholm has also worked to expand access to healthcare all the while cutting costs. Over 300,000 of Michigan’s uninsured now have expanded healthcare coverage. In addition, Granholm introduced a bulk-buying plan for prescription drugs, the first of its kind in the nation. The plan ultimately saved Michigan $40 million.

After graduating with honors from Harvard Law School, Granholm was first introduced to public service when she served as a clerk for a U.S. Judge on the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. In the eight years prior to her election as Attorney General, Granholm served as a prosecutor in Detroit and was later appointed as the Wayne County Corporation Counsel where she saved taxpayer money by reducing lawsuit payouts.

In 1998, Granholm was elected as Michigan’s first female Attorney General. During this time, Granholm launched the state’s first High Tech Crime Unit to tackle Internet crimes. In addition to synthesizing a number of agencies to better coordinate strategies to prevent terrorist attacks, Granholm also took action on a number of other issues, from controlling gas prices to advocating mentoring programs.

Best Practices

Efficient Energy Initiative

Governor Granholm issued Executive Directive 2005-4 requiring state government to reduce energy use 10 percent in all state-owned and operated buildings by 2008; and reduce state purchases of grid-based, power-line derived energy 20 percent by 2015. Initial assessments suggest that the state can save $4 million by becoming more energy efficient.

Read more about the efficient energy initiative.

Child Protection Registry

In Michigan, Governor Granholm championed a child protection registry allowing parents to restrict their children from receiving unwanted email messages. The registry will eventually expand to include instant message ids, cell phone numbers, fax numbers and pager numbers. Once an email address is registered, businesses are prohibited from sending messages about products or services that are legally prohibited for children.

Click here to learn more about the child protection registry.