Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is losing her touch. Two years ago, in her state of the state address she mentioned "jobs" 52 times. Last year, she raised the bar, hitting 57. But this week in her annual speech "jobs" mentions totaled a modest 27.
This development certainly shouldn't be taken as an indication that Michigan's employment situation has improved or that the topic has gone away as a political issue. It hasn't.
Instead, it's a sign that the state now has other problems that are just as troubling. Those include a $800 million budget shortfall and a looming structural imbalance if lawmakers don't create a replacement for the business tax they eliminated last year. That explains why Granholm mentioned "budget" 14 times and "tax" or "taxes" or "taxpayers" 22 times.
Granholm also referred to "naysayers" 4 times. She was either talking about horses or Republican legislators who will oppose tax increases.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.