Governor looks to a clean slate

Published 12:34 pm Wednesday, January 12, 2005

By Staff
LANSING - In a letter delivered Tuesday, Governor Granholm called on state lawmakers to focus their immediate attention on unfinished business left from the previous legislative session, so Lansing can turn its attention to strengthening the state's economy.
"These are issues that have bi-partisan support, that were introduced in the last legislative session, and, most importantly, that can have an immediate and positive impact on the lives of Michigan citizens right now," Granholm said. "We all agree we should make voting easier for every Michigan resident; we all agree that businesses shouldn't be penalized for playing by rules when others are not; and we clearly agree that we have to protect Michigan's Great Lakes water.
In her letter, Granholm welcomed new and returning legislators back to Lansing and encouraged them to turn their attention to a series of issues that have bipartisan support in the previous legislative session.
Among the initiatives Granholm outlined in the letter are the following:
making it easier for citizens to vote by adopting several bipartisan election reforms, such as no reason absentee voting;
closing the loophole in the state tax code that lets unscrupulous businesses avoid paying their fair share of taxes under the State Unemployment Tax Act (SUTA);
renewing a call for passage of the Water Legacy Act, legislation the Governor called for last January that would regulate water withdrawals and diversions from the Great Lakes;
increasing recycling efforts by expanding the state's bottle deposit law and imposing a surcharge on landfills to provide a means of support for recycling services;
raising the drop-out age for school to 18;
allowing easier transfer of disciplinary records of students who transfer from one school to another;
requiring the use of a child booster car seat for young children;
furthering action on the recommendations of the Land Use Leadership Council, including a complete rewrite of the Land Division Act and requiring that school districts comply with local zoning ordinances;
approving a pay cut for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor;