Senate approves Michigan Thrive Initiative
Many communities across Michigan are burdened with what’s known as brownfield properties — sites that sit empty or vacant because they are too costly to clean up, restore or redevelop. The Senate recently approved legislation to help transform these hard-to-develop properties or abandoned buildings into large-scale projects that create jobs and promote growth.
Senate Bills 111-115 would allow such “transformational brownfield plans” to keep part of the new tax revenue they generate in order to make the projects fiscally feasible while the rest of the revenue would go to local governments and the state. To qualify for an economic incentive, a project would have to receive approval from the local government, the Michigan Strategic Fund and the state treasurer. In addition, the project would have to meet a minimum investment threshold and result in a net fiscal benefit to the state.
The legislation would limit the redevelopments to five projects each year. In addition, each city would be limited to one approved plan per year, ensuring the program’s benefits would be spread across the state.
As the sponsor of the main bill in the package, I’m very supportive of this legislation. I’m working closely with my colleagues in the House to get the bill to the Governor’s desk. Below is a picture from when the Senate Economic Development and International Investment Committee, which I chair, passed the bill package by a bipartisan vote of 7-0.
Visitors to the Capitol
Some of my friends from Mrs. Woodcock's 3rd grade class at North Elementary School stopped by the Capitol and helped me film a video for March is Reading Month. Click here
to watch an invocation in the Senate from Rev. Timothy Cook who was the guest of State Senator Jim Stamas. Father Cook serves as the parish priest at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Saginaw and I was appreciative to hear the thoughtful words he shared with the Senate. Office Hours
A great group joined me for Office Hours in Clayton Township this past Monday. My March Office Hours will next Monday, March 13th from 12:00 – 2:00 PM at the Buena Vista Community Center 1940 S. Outer Dr.
, Saginaw, MI 48601. I hope to see you there!
Legislation strengthens protections for doctors, nurses
At the end of last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved my bill, Senate Bill 33
. This legislation adds emergency room personnel to the enhanced assault penalty list that currently includes police officers and other first responders. Our ER docs and nurses are often times in the trenches dealing the same violent individuals and should have the same protection of the elevated penalty that police and EMS currently have. Free financial counseling available to delinquent student loan borrowers
Michigan student loan borrowers who are delinquent on their federal student loans can receive free one-on-one counseling under a pilot program announced by the state Department of Treasury in partnership with a division of the National Student Loan Program.
As part of the program, participants work with counselors to develop a repayment plan that helps them return to good financial standing. Find more information, including eligibility requirements, at www.loanassistmichigan.org
. Hunters win the hunt of a lifetime!
Three lucky hunters from Kent, Lapeer and Montcalm counties were recently announced as the 2017 Pure Michigan Hunt winners by the Department of Natural Resources. Along with elk, bear, spring and fall turkey and antlerless deer licenses to be used in 2017, the winners will also get first pick opening morning of the waterfowl season at any of Michigan’s managed waterfowl hunt areas. In addition, each hunter receives a package of hunting gear donated by Michigan businesses and organizations valued at more than $4,000!
The 2017 drawing had a total of 51,090 applications, generating more than $259,000 to help fund wildlife habitat restoration and improvements in Michigan. Applications for the next Pure Michigan Hunt drawing will be available starting March 1. More information is available at www.mi.gov/pmh