Members of a panel discussion on WXYZ TV's "Spotlight on the News" program agreed that Gov. Jennifer Granholm's final State of the State address last week was well-delivered, but lacked substance.

Ken Braun, managing editor of Capitol Confidential Daily, said less emphasis should be put on the annual address because it doesn't contain budget information. The governor's budget proposal, due Feb. 12, is where the focus belongs, he said.

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Braun said that suggestions by Granholm to lower the cost of state government make sense, but said he wishes that conversation had taken place seven years ago.

One of those suggestions includes a plan to entice teachers who are eligible to retire to do so at the end of the current school year. Mike Van Beek, director of education policy, told The Bay City Times that he supports the recommendation.

"We know the cost of public employees has been growing consistently," he told The Times. "It's to a point as a state, where we can no longer afford it."

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