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Ask Jennifer Granholm

TIME's scheduled to interview Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm. What would you ask her?

Here's a backgrounder:

In 2002, the Canadian-born Democrat became the first woman to be elected Michigan's governor. Now in her second term, Granholm is responding to tough problems: the global financial crisis, the near-collapse of the U.S. automobile industry, and a 15.2% unemployment rate – the nation's highest. Earlier this year, President Obama considered Granholm for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Submit your questions for Granholm below, then read the interview in an upcoming issue of TIME.

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  • 1

    What can be done to retain the 42% tax credit for film production? There's investment money available, much from out of state. Community colleges and universities are preparing programs to train students -- often displaced auto workers and suppliers -- in filmcraft. Films that are being shot here spend a lot of money locally with hotels, restaurants and other suppliers. Experts at Michigan State have proved that the state can make far more money than it gives back. What doesn't the Legislature get?

  • 2

    Why are we *still* playing the budget game? Why hasn't the Gov. gone back to basics, set up a list of priorities for those things that the state *must* (by law) do, fund those, then see if it's possible to fund "nice to have" things. After all, why is the State in the business of handing out scholarships while it's laying off police officers? Why are we not looking at making real, structural changes? Why are we targeting industries and individual companies for tax breaks, effectively punishing others, instead of just lowering the tax rate to levels competitive with other states? There have been a lot of ideas floated by many think tanks in the state, but it seems that the current government prefers to put its fingers in its ears, close its eyes, and pretend our economic problems will just go away.

  • 3

    I presume the govenor won't read and respond, but here's a goodie!

    When will Michigan become a Right to Work State? It's a Constitutional right, just like the National Labor Relations Act protects Union activities.

    Seems fair we have dual standards that compete and may bring business opportunities to the state

  • 4

    What do you plan to do to improve Michigan's climate for small businesses? The state's current small business tax is mong the nation's most oppressive, and therefore untenable. With the dramatic (and permanent) loss of jobs in the big three, the best hope for alleviating the state's massive unemployment problem lies with small businesses. However they are currently being taxed at a rate that basically precludes them from hiring new employees. Michigan must do something to retain the businesses it currently has and to attract businesses looking to expand from other states. What - specifically - do you propose?

  • 5

    Just before the start of your first term the Republican-dominated legislature eliminated the small business tax and consequently blew a $1.2 billion hole into the state's budget. We've never recovered, and you've spent your entire time in office trying to repair that damage. Looking back, what would you have done differently and what will you try to hand off to the next governor?

  • 6

    I know that you are still focused on the job at hand, but with your final term almost up, would you care to disclose whether you've had any thoughts about what comes next? Are you interested in moving to the national stage? Perhaps a position within the Obama administration or even a Supreme Court nomination?

  • 7

    In 2007 the governor and leaders in the state legislature were in the same budget log jam as we see today. The legislator passed and the governor signed into law a $1.4 billion tax increase on the residents and businesses of this state to balance the budget. At that time the governor as the executive of this state, pledged to meet monthly with leaders Dillon of the House and Bishop of the Senate to begin the process to structurally reform state government. Twenty four months have passed. How many monthly meetings were held? What structural reforms were discussed and implemented in the last two years? Why are we in the same budget log jam position two years later? Why is it that the common Joes in my skilled trades department and I understood immediately after the last tax increase passed that the budget would be in deficit again in less than six months yet the executive and legislative branch could not foresee this and do anything to mitigate today's log jam? Why are we squandering Federal stimulus dollars to plug holes in a budget so blatantly out of balance without reforming government first? When do you think tax revenues will increase to sustain current spending?

  • 8

    Governor you made very public statements (for years) regarding the "mess" that the previous governor left you. What is the state of the State that you will leave the next Governor?

  • 9


    Twenty four months have passed. How many monthly meetings were held? What structural reforms were discussed and implemented in the last two years? Why are we in the same budget log jam position two years later?


    Just post the monthly meeting agenda and action items output to a website. There should be at least 23 of them someplace!

  • 10

    Is the Governor still interested in persuing the possibility of bringing the 2020 Olympics to Detroit? I haven't been able to find anything new after this article in 2006.

    There are a couple interest groups on Facebook for the 2020 Olympics to be in Detroit.

  • 11

    With the state of Michigans' economy, people are still buying lottery tickets. Why doesn't the lottery commission come up with a legitimate way to create a temporary lottery to eliminate the state deficit? I'm not promoting gambling but I think people would rather spend their money on a chance to win something, instead of paying more taxes. Put it to a vote! Get it on the ballot!

  • 12

    Govenor Granholm, you promised the $4,000 scholarship to my son towards his tuition. He is a full-time student at Ferris State (GPA 3.8). We just learned you cancelled the Promise Scholarship due to fin.crisis. Any comments?
    Irina S.Kemp, Lansing MI

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