I take great pride in representing you in the Michigan Senate. Here is a brief update on my work in Lansing.
Protecting Student PrivacyAs education goes digital, and the ability to collect, store and share vast amounts of data becomes easier every day, student privacy has become an area of concern for Michigan parents.
Student data can contain highly sensitive, personal information, and protecting our children's information is more important than ever, especially after recent troubling allegations of companies data-mining student emails and gathering student information for commercial purposes.
I've taken steps to protect Michigan kids with two bills, and wrote about it here in MLive.
Senate Bill 33 prohibits state agencies and school districts from selling personally identifiable information in a student's record to any for-profit business. Senate Bill 510 prohibits operators of K-12 Internet websites and online services from using student information for targeted advertising or other non-educational purposes.
The Michigan Senate has unanimously passed these bills, and they now await action in the House Education Committee.
Nuclear Waste Dump DelayedAs you know, Ontario Power Generation has a plan to permanently store nuclear waste less than a mile from Lake Huron. There has been tremendous opposition to this plan, and the new Canadian leadership recently delayed its approval decision, pushing it back to March of 2016. I hope this delay means Canada is seriously considering the risks associated with this project and the strong public opinion against it from their American neighbors and their own residents.
Fostering Futures Scholarship FundThere are about 13,000 children in the Michigan foster care system at any given time. Most teens who age-out of foster care want to attend college, yet less than ten percent who graduate from high school actually do.
I recently supported legislation to help more foster children pursue their dream of a college education. Senate Bills 543 and 544 create an individual income tax checkoff to let taxpayers donate part of their refund to the Fostering Futures Scholarship Trust Fund. The checkoff would be placed on state tax forms beginning in tax year 2016. The bills await action in the House Tax Policy Committee.
Now that winter is upon us, I hope you are taking the time to appreciate the unique seasonal opportunities our wonderful state has to offer. Blessings to you and yours for a joyous holiday season!
Michigan's 25th Senate District