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Senator Mike Shirkey

Road Funding Bills See Progress

Although the State House this week slightly changed course from the content of the State Senate's road proposal, the legislative packages contain more similarities than differences, and most feel, myself included, that we are very close to final consensus. Both packages would provide $1.2 billion dollars for roads, through both new revenue and a rededication of existing money that should be going to roads today but that has been historically diverted for other purposes. The changes would increase the gas tax, but also contain other tax related components that would lead to direct reductions in income tax rates and a positive change for the Homestead Property Tax Credit (which would also lower income taxes). The end result would lead to more net money going towards roads while also making other reforms in our overall tax structure that would mitigate the gas tax increase for many taxpayers. Our office will keep you posted.

We the people

Proposed Social Studies Change Needs Your Comments

The Michigan Board of Education is currently in the process of making changes to our school's social studies standards, which help to shape local school content. The changes would affect the material that students learn as they prepare for upcoming tests.

Social studies can be challenging to teach and achieve balance, so that students’ exposure to differing philosophies or discussions on our past does not lead to intentional bias or revisionist history. Some of the proposed changes being contemplated don't pass this test, however, and deserve your attention. For example, there is an entire section devoted to the origins of Islam. No other religion is given such a large, dedicated section in the standards, and the increased efforts to limit Christianity in our schools but not other religions is concerning. In a similar vein, study materials only lightly cover or entirely skip the recent negative changes to our right to religious liberty; but after receiving input from the Southern Poverty Law Center, the standards make special efforts to highlight favored groups that are in many cases the very ones using cultural bullying to diminish our first amendment rights.

If our state educational content is going to be influenced by groups such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, it also needs to hear from you. Our office has sent a letter to the state school board, and those interested can do the same.

• You can learn more about the current standards review process by the Department of Education here: http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-28753_38684_28761---,00.html
• You can also contact the state social studies standards team by emailing them (MDE-SocialStudies@michigan.gov) to comment on the proposed standards.

16th District Update

Jonesville robotics

The Jonesville robotics team shows off its machine in the Hillsdale County Veterans Day parade during Fair week.

Southern MI Center for Science

Students with the Southern Michigan Center for Science and Industry gather – several local students are involved.

Shirkey: EPA Carbon Rules Related to Confusing Ads

Have you seen ads on TV indicating that we may soon run out of electric power in Michigan? Rest assured, our lights are most definitely not going out and the ads are using scare tactics.

Here is what is really going on: In August, the EPA announced it was requiring power plants across the nation to comply with a 32 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. Many consider this federal requirement to be invalid, and in fact our Attorney General is part of a lawsuit against it. This comes on the heels of a similar EPA lawsuit which we won regarding the EPA threatening to close power plants over mercury pollution. The Supreme Court held that the way the federal rule was calculated was invalid, and we anticipate their most recent carbon rule will be treated in the same manner.

The television ads seem to imply that if the State does not pass certain pieces of legislation that somehow new Michigan power plants will close as a result, or that the federal government will force Michigan to pass an EPA plan that would require new power plants to close. Nothing could be further from the truth. The legislation referenced in the ads do not limit Michigan's ability to come up with a plan to address the EPA's concerns. Not only is Michigan's ability to negotiate with the EPA not dependent on the passage of this legislation, but as the Attorney General's lawsuit points out, most feel the federal government would not have an ability to simply "write" its own plan for Michigan, nor would it force the closure of any plants that had not already been designated to be shut down prior to the EPA's new rule.

Michigan should not be bullied by the federal government, and I strongly support our lawsuit against the federal government and oppose their misleading scare tactics against the public. I also fully support Michigan continuing to be a part of our regional energy grid, which allows us to receive electricity that is generated outside of our state borders. While many do not realize it, the majority of people in Michigan receive part of their energy that is not being generated by a utility next door. And this same regional energy grid is in no way forecasting the supposed imminent blackouts that the advertisements would try to make you believe.

Read more, including the Shirkey resolution on the EPA: http://www.senatormikeshirkey.com/shirkey-epa-carbon-rules-still-too-restrictive/

Manufacturing to Surpass Gov’t Jobs

In Michigan, manufacturing continues as a strong and rebounding occupation that our kids should consider along with other important vocational jobs. You may find the following graphics of interest. The first is a fact sheet with details about the current trends in Michigan’s manufacturing work. The second shows those trends on a graph and our most recent uptick as we simultaneously try to lower the size of government.

We the people
We the people

Senator Shirkey In The News

Branch County’s Crane Correctional Facility Ruled Out as an Option

Local Hillsdale Area Company Moves Into Stocks Mill

Hillsdale Hospital Celebrates 100 Years of Service

Shirkey-supported Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Bills Head to the Governor for Signature

Hillsdale Daily: New Forfeiture Law Goes to Governor – Protects Your Rights

Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act Provides Transparency

Shirkey Alerts Residents of Proposed Federal Changes on Venomous Snake

Serving with and for you,

Mike Shirkey

Senator Mike Shirkey
320 Farnum Bldg.
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Visit my website at: www.senatormikeshirkey.com