Auto no-fault reform approved
The cost of auto insurance is a burden for many Michigan drivers. In fact, our state has the highest average annual premium in the nation. I recently supported legislation to help lower costs and better protect Michigan insurance customers.
Senate Bill 787 would allow Michigan residents age 65 or older to have the option to choose a capped auto insurance plan. Seniors who choose this plan would have their catastrophic claims assessment significantly reduced and Medicare would cover remaining expenses after the $50,000 limit is reached.
Fraud also drives up costs. Senate Bill 1014 would create the Michigan Automobile Insurance Fraud Authority to investigate and reduce fraud, estimated at $400 million annually. Other reforms ensure 24/7 care remains available for individuals injured in auto accidents and does not limit care provided by skilled professionals. The bills have been sent to the House for consideration. Budget reflects priorities of Michigan families
The Legislature recently finished up work on the state budget, and for the eighth consecutive year, produced a balanced budget months ahead of schedule.
The plan features key investments to education, roads, jobs and public safety, including:
- Providing $14.8 billion for K-12 education — the most in our state's history;
- Investing $58 million in school safety initiatives to keep our children safe;
- Boosting road funding by $330 million, bringing our total added investment in roads and infrastructure to $2.4 billion since 2017;
- Adding funds to train 155 state police troopers to keep our communities safe; and
- Providing nearly $141 million in skilled trades training to prepare workers for in-demand jobs.
The budget also funds initiatives to safeguard our most vulnerable, support our veterans and protect our Great Lakes and natural resources. At the same time, we have continued our commitment to fiscal responsibility and increased the state's rainy day fund to $1 billion. Local road project gets funding through new budget
An additional $330 million in road funding was approved as part of the state's recently finalized budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The additional road funding will bring the total added investment in roads to $2.4 billion since 2017.
Among the many infrastructure projects, the state will spend $1 million for a road project to resurface a 1.8 mile stretch of Lamoreaux Drive between Alpine Avenue and West River Drive.
I am pleased that we were able to secure this necessary funding to repair Lamoreaux Drive. It will help provide much needed upgrades sooner, improve the driving experience and help keep motorists safe.
A list of 2018 road projects can be found on the Michigan Department of Transportation website, at Michigan.gov/Drive
. Senate Acts To Improve School Safety
The Senate recently passed several bills to invests $58 million in school safety initiatives to keep our students safe.
Improving school security, preparedness and communication is vital to ensuring Michigan students have a safe place to learn. The bills approved by the Senate will help ensure that safe environment by establishing a state Office of School Safety, improving the confidential OK2SAY program, and by leveraging law enforcement expertise to strengthen security in school buildings, among other important measures.
The Senate’s school safety plan includes numerous improvements, such as:
- Increasing funding for OK2SAY program by $3 million.
- Investing $30 million for mental health support services within schools.
- Increasing funding for school safety security grants to $25 million.
The legislation awaits action by the state House of Representatives. PFAS resolution introduced
I recently introduced Senate Concurrent Resolution 35 about PFAS.
The resolution requests the federal government to release a draft toxicological profile prepared by the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry on PFAS. It also urges the federal government to ensure that states receive the necessary funding to carry out efforts needed to protect the public health and to follow Michigan's example and increase coordination of federal agencies working on this issue to for an effective response. Finally, it calls on the United States Environmental Protection Agency to establish a national, uniform, enforceable limit for PFAS in the environment.
With this resolution, we are trying to protect the people in the state of Michigan and want to make sure Washington, D.C. gets the message. Fishing the Great Lakes
Many Michigan anglers have favorite fishing spots on one of the state's beautiful inland lakes or rivers, but would also love to fish the Great Lakes.
The Department of Natural Resources has developed four "roadmaps" that serve as starting points to provide new or experienced anglers with information on many Great Lakes fishing sites and times of the year when great opportunities exist. These roadmaps focus on fishing Southeast Michigan's Great Lakes, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. Each was developed with the expertise of the Fisheries Division staff. Visit www.michigan.gov/fishing
and click on the link to Roadmaps to Fishing Michigan's Great Lakes
to discover new fishing opportunities this summer! Overview of Michigan forest health
Michigan's forest land covers nearly 20 million acres, including about 4 million acres of state forest managed by the Department of Natural Resources. The 2017 Forest Health Highlights
report outlines current successes and challenges facing Michigan's forest system, including efforts to stop invasive species such as the hemlock woolly adelgid and the battle against beech bark disease. Check out the work being done to preserve and protect the state's forests at www.michigan.gov/foresthealth