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Politics & Government

Johnson delivers first-ever "State of the Secretary of State" speech

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Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson.

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson delivered what she says was the first-ever "State of the Secretary of State" speech in Lansing.

It's a speech Johnson says she plans to deliver the speech every year she is in office, "because I think there’s so much information and so many good things that are happening and I want people to know where we’re at, and where we’re going," said Johnson, "so you can judge – are we doing a good job or not?"

In the speech, Johnson said she is cutting costs in the Department of State.

One of the ways she plans on doing that is by consolidating some Secretary of State branch offices with Michigan State Police posts.

"It's a great idea. I mean we need to do more public partnerships," said Johnson. "Some of those branch offices in some of those urban areas are already overloaded, the staff’s down 25% since 2002. So we need to find a way to provide services better, faster, easier, and we need to make sure that we can provide customer service in a way that’s very efficient."

There is no set date for the first branch office-police post consolidation. Johnson says the move will eventually save the state about $150,000 annually.

Johnson says she also saved taxpayers money by using up the stationery and letterhead left behind by the previous secretary of state, Terri Lynn Land.

Johnson also says she wants to increase enrollment on the state’s organ donor registry, and eliminate the requirement that people must give a reason to qualify for absentee ballots.

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