Gov. Rick Snyder signs economic revitalization bill
I was recently joined by fellow legislators and area leaders as Gov. Rick Snyder signed my MiThrive legislation into law in downtown Saginaw.
These bills are aimed at transforming communities by encouraging and assisting the redevelopment of abandoned buildings, contaminated sites and other difficult-to-develop properties throughout the state.
These areas, known as brownfield properties, can be found throughout Michigan and are often viewed as unfavorable to developers because of the costs associated with restoration and redevelopment.
Senate Bills 111-115, now Public Acts 46-50, would allow a developer to keep a portion of the new tax revenue a project generates in an effort to close the gap of redevelopment costs. The remaining funds will go to local governments and the state. Once the gap is closed, the capture goes away and any revenue that is generated will go to state and local governments.
Michigan taxpayers will assume no financial risk under this plan, but are conversely able to reap the benefits of their community being transformed.
The MiThrive Initiative is a win for everyone. Bill allows electronic vehicle registration
Like any piece of paper, vehicle registration certificates can be easily lost or misplaced.
I recently supported a bill that allows a motorist to show law enforcement an electronic copy or digital photograph of their registration certificate on their cell phone or other mobile device during a traffic stop. Michigan law already allows drivers to use their smartphones to show electronic proof of insurance when they are pulled over.
The legislation is a logical extension of current law and just makes good sense with the increasing use of technology in our daily lives. Amigo International - the success story of a Bridgeport family business
You’ve seen their shopping carts at nearly every retail store you’ve visited, but what most people don’t know is that they come from right here in mid-Michigan.
I recently had the pleasure of joining the staff at Bridgeport’s own Amigo Mobility International to tour the facility and see how the motorized shopping carts that have made their way into stores and shopping centers across the nation are made.
Founder and Chairman Al Thieme designed and built the first Amigo brand mobility vehicle in his garage in 1968 and for nearly 50 years Amigo Mobility International has been revolutionizing mobility.
I had the privilege of building the Amigo ValueShopper, which is one of their most popular models, from start to finish.
From the bare frame to the steering column to the electronic components, the staff at Amigo guided me through the process and gave me a behind-the-scenes look at the work they do on a daily basis.
They even let me test drive the unit that I had assembled. 2017-2018 budget finalized, now heads to governor
The Legislature has finalized a fiscal year 2018 budget that increases support for education and public safety while strengthening the state’s finances and promoting job creation.
For the last seven years, the Legislature has completed a balanced and responsible budget — every year — well ahead of the deadline, which gives local governments and school districts the ability to set their budgets using real numbers rather than estimations.
Under this budget, every school in Michigan will see increased funding. House Bill 4313
is the education budget for K-12 education, state universities and community colleges, totaling $16.6 billion. It invests nearly $14.6 billion in total K-12 education, including an increase of $60 to $120 per student for local schools and an additional $25 for high schoolers.
In addition to increasing support for K-12 education by more than $415 million, we are once again paying down more than $1 billion in school retirement costs to help put additional resources into the classroom. House Bill 4323
contains budgets for state departments and the judicial and legislative branches. It would increase local revenue sharing to counties, townships, cities and villages by 1 to 2.2 percent; increase staffing for Michigan’s veterans homes; graduate 150 new state police troopers; and add $11 million to increase skilled trades training funding to $41.9 million.
Michigan drivers will be glad to hear that we are boosting transportation funding by more than $214 million from last year, including $130 million that is dedicated to local road projects.
This budget supports our key priorities: supporting vital services, investing in our children and continuing to make Michigan more attractive to tourists and job creators.
The bills now head to the governor to be signed. The FY 2018 budget takes effect on Oct. 1. Visitors to the Capitol
Congratulations to Isabella Dean, KaTonya Jenkins, Noemi Perez and Shanttel Gonsalves for winning 1st Place in the National ProStart Culinary Arts Competition. The Saginaw Career Complex creates Champions.
Miss Kristie Horst’s 4th Grade class from Morrish Elementary visited the Capitol. This is one of the classes that won the Pizza Party by winning my Senate March is Reading Month challenge. These amazing students read 25,046 pages during the month of March.
His Excellency, the Most Reverend Joseph Cistone visited the Capitol as of the Michigan Catholic Conference. The Michigan Catholic Conference is a strong advocate for the people of Michigan. Think Christmas in July
The search is underway to find the 2017 state Christmas Tree! The tree will be displayed in front of the Michigan Capitol building and featured as part of Lansing’s holiday festivities.
In the last 30 years, trees have come from locations across the state — from private yards to public land near highways and forests. To be considered, a tree must be a spruce or fir, at least 55 feet tall, within easy access of a road with no interference from wires and available at no cost.
Nominations are requested by July 30, 2017. Anyone nominating a tree should send their name, phone number, a photo of the tree and information about its size and location to ChristmasTree@michigan.gov
. How to fly the flag
Independence Day is right around the corner, a time to celebrate our nation’s birthday with picnics and parades. Many people also make sure our U.S. flag is flying proudly in front of their home or business.
As the symbol of all we hold dear, Old Glory demands proper attention and respect. See below for further instructions on the proper flag flying etiquette.