In her final State of the State address Wednesday, Granholm outlined several initiatives she said would spur business start-ups, as well as call for a reinstatement of the Michigan Promise Scholarships program for college students, the Detroit News reported.
Meanwhile, about 400 Tea Party activists staged a "State of the Citizen" demonstration, called to send an anti-tax, limited-government message to lawmakers in Michigan and Washington, the Detroit Free Press reported.
"There's no money left. It's time for spending cuts at the government level," said Leon Drolet, Michigan Taxpayer Alliance director and a former state representative.
During her speech, Granholm called on lawmakers to pass a state budget by July 1. Term limits bar her from seeking a third term.
She defended her record, saying she knew "things were bad" when she took office seven year years ago, but "we just didn't know how bad they would become. No one did."
The state didn't get into the financial and employment morass overnight and "we're not going to get out of it overnight," she said. "There is no silver bullet. I don't have it. The next governor won't have it either."
She drew loud applause when she said, "I, for one, will never apologize to anyone for standing up for American automakers and American autoworkers."