June office hours in Freeland
My upcoming office hours will be held Friday, June 26th from 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. in the board room at the Tittabawassee Township Office, 145 S. Second Street, Freeland, MI 48623
. I'll be there to answer questions and respond to concerns any residents of the district may have. No appointment is necessary. I look forward to seeing you! Special visitors at the Capitol
Kicking off our visitors in June was a fun group of third grade students from Central Elementary School in Linden.
Earlier this month, I had the great honor of helping choose the 2015 Frankenmuth Bavarian Princess Court. Last week, Princess Emillie Howe and the Princess Court members Cassie Pierce and Brittany Garcia stopped by Lansing and we took a tour of the Senate Floor.
I'm also fairly certain that I hadn't heard yodeling in the Michigan Capitol before Frankenmuth resident Mark Schuette and his guest from sister-city Guenzenhauzen, Germany, Willie Rutz, visited us last week. Legislation to protect veterans with service dogs passes Senate
Special license plate designations for veterans and discounts on fishing licenses are all great. But allowing veterans and their service dogs a little space and due respect is meaningful. I was proud to co-sponsor Senate Bills 298
. SB 298 would expand existing state law to allow for the use of service dogs in Michigan and would establish penalties for those who harass or injure a service dog and SB 299 would exempt licensing fees for veterans' service dogs. These bills provide certainty for our veterans and others who use service dogs to help cope with injuries, seen and unseen. Senate passes resolution to release Marine from Iranian prison
The state Senate recently adopted a resolution to support U.S. House Resolution 233
. Senate Resolution 66
, sponsored by state Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, supports the congressional resolution calling on Iran to immediately release the three United States citizens that it holds, including Marine sergeant and Michigan resident Amir Hekmati.
I would like to personally thank Senators Ananich and Knezek for their support in bringing this issue before the chamber. I had an opportunity to meet Sergeant Hekmati's family along with Congressman Kildee recently in Washington, and I'm happy that we were able to work together and get bipartisan support on a very critical issue.
Sgt. Hekmati traveled to Tehran to visit his ailing grandmother in 2011 after receiving permission from the Iranian Interests Section of the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C. Within weeks of his arrival, Sgt. Hekmati was arrested, interrogated and imprisoned.
I can only hope that Sgt. Hekmati knows that he is not forgotten. It is shameful that a member of our armed services, someone who fought for this country, has been treated this way. We are doing everything in our power as legislators to put an end to this and to get him home safe to his family. Energizing Michigan
I was honored to be a guest on WWJ Newsradio 950 for their special, Energizing Michigan. WWJ's Jackie Paige hosted the program from Lansing on all things energy with panelists including Tim Sparks with Consumers Energy, Ken Sikkema (former Senate Majority Leader and current Senior Policy Fellow, Public Sector Consultants), and Irene Dimitry with DTE Energy.
You can listen to a replay of the special at the following link: http://cbsloc.al/1L0rxuk
. State budget keeps Michigan on the right path
It's a wrap! The Michigan Legislature recently finished work on the Fiscal Year 2016 budget, a plan that once again provides a strong foundation for economic growth while investing in our state's future.
Our plan balances the books with a focus on the priorities important to Michigan families - schools, public safety and roads. Some of the key investments include:
- $400 million from existing revenues for road repair and construction.
- More than $36 million for skilled trades, career and technical education.
- $31.5 million for a third grade reading initiative.
- Increased funding to hire 88 new state police troopers for our communities.
For the fifth year in a row, the Legislature has increased funding for K-12 education. That's more than $1.5 billion in new state funding for our schools since 2011
. At the same time, the budget strengthens the state's finances by paying down debt, forcing government to live within its means and saving for the future in the Rainy Day Fund.
Click for more information: Senate Bill 133
/ House Bill 4115
. Pure Michigan Summers
Looking for things to do in Michigan? Check out the Pure Michigan travel guide
on my website
to find activities within the state!