Jennifer M. Granholm took the oath of office yesterday as Michigan's first female governor, calling the milestone "a great message for our daughters and our sons."
Former Clinton administration Cabinet member Bill Richardson was sworn in as governor of New Mexico, and he outlined proposals to save money and increase teachers' pay. And George E. Pataki was inaugurated to his third term as governor of New York. He called for unity and nonpartisanship to overcome the "historic, grave and daunting" economic problems facing the state.
Granholm, who had been the state's attorney general the past four years, said the first job of her administration will be tackling a budget deficit that could approach $2 billion in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.
Richardson outlined several policy specifics, including a proposal for a 6 percent increase in teacher salaries next year. He also said his administration would immediately begin performance audits of all state agencies to identify potential budget savings.
At Albany, N.Y., Pataki also faces fiscal problems, both from the national recession and the aftereffects of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorism attacks.
Pataki gave no hint of how he proposes to cover revenue shortfalls estimated at as much as $10 billion over the rest of the 2002-03 fiscal year and in fiscal 2003-04, which begins April 1. He has said he will elaborate during his State of the State address on Jan. 8 and in his budget proposal, due Feb. 1.