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Senator Dave Hildenbrand E-Newsletter
 

MARCH 2016

Conductive Education Day in Michigan

It was an honor to have Karen Mueller O’Neill, the Executive Director for the Conductive Learning Center in Grand Rapids, at the Capitol as we recognized “Conductive Education Day” in the Michigan Senate.

Senate Resolution 145, a resolution designating February 18, 2016 as Conductive Education Day in the State of Michigan, was passed by the Michigan Senate in an effort to raise awareness for this unique way of educating those with motor disorders.

The Conductive Learning Center of Grand Rapids, in partnership with Aquinas College, serves children birth to age 26 with motor disorders related to complications of prematurity, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida or brain injury. For these children, even the smallest tasks – eating, buttoning a shirt, sitting in a chair –can be monumental. The Conductive Learning Center works with those who have motor disorders to tackle these tasks and more.

Conductive education methodology operates from a core belief in neuroplasticity, the lifelong ability of the brain to reorganize neural pathways based on new experiences, and on the premise that no matter how severe the disability, people can learn and improve when they are motivated. This approach has a transformative effect on mobility and independence.

For more information on the Conductive Learning Center, please visit http://conductivelearningcenter.org/

Bills bring transparency to legacy costs

When preparing a budget or financial plan, it's important to "know what you owe."

The Senate recently passed legislation to provide Michigan taxpayers with more information on the state's long-term debts. SB 292 requires the governor to include required employer contributions toward the total unfunded retiree health care and pension legacy costs in the annual budget bills. SB 738 requires an annual executive summary report of the state's unfunded liabilities for retiree health and pensions.

The state’s unfunded liabilities are all too often out of public view. These bills provide taxpayers with greater transparency on an important part of the state budget. The legislation has been sent to the House for their consideration.

Free taxpayer preparation guide now available

Taxpayer’s Guide

Each year the Legislative Service Bureau publishes a very useful, free resource that may be helpful in filling out your state income tax forms for the 2015 tax year.

The 2016 Michigan Taxpayer’s Guide contains useful information on Michigan’s individual income tax and property taxes, although it’s not a substitute for Michigan Department of Treasury tax instruction booklets. The publication also features contact information for obtaining state agency tax assistance and copies of the most commonly used tax forms. You can find an electronic copy of this booklet here.

Pure Michigan Hunt Update

Pure MI Hunt

Three lucky hunters recently received a call from the Department of Natural Resources with the exciting news that they were the 2016 Pure Michigan Hunt winners, including one from Caledonia, MI! Along with several hunt licenses, the winners took home more than $4,000 worth of hunting gear!

The 2016 drawing had a total of 35,336 applications, generating more than $176,000 to help wildlife habitat restoration and improvements in Michigan. Applications for the next Pure Michigan Hunt drawing will be available starting March 1. Find more information at www.mi.gov/pmh.

Motorist Protection Legislation

Driving under the influence of a controlled substance is just as dangerous as drunk driving. That is why the Michigan Senate recently passed legislation to crack down on drugged drivers.

Senate Bills 207 and 434 would create a pilot program in five counties to allow law enforcement officers certified as drug recognition experts to conduct roadside testing of the use of controlled substances. Drivers who are stopped under reasonable cause would have their saliva tested for the presence of cannabis, opiates, cocaine and methamphetamine. The procedure is similar to that of a breathalyzer test for alcohol.

The legislation, prompted by a tragic accident caused by a drugged driver, has been sent to the House for consideration. To track the progress of this, or any state legislation, visit the Michigan Legislature Website at www.legislature.mi.gov.

Tips to prevent auto theft

ATPA

Motor vehicle thefts happen year-round with nearly half of the thefts occurring when the keys are left in the ignition or a door is left unlocked.

Along with keeping your doors locked, Michigan’s Automobile Theft Prevention Authority (ATPA) advises motorists to keep a close eye on the vehicle if you leave it running to warm up during our cold winter weather. The agency also encourages motorists to avoid leaving valuables in the vehicle.

In the mid-1980s, Michigan had the highest auto theft rate in the nation. The ATPA — a collaborative effort of law enforcement, communities and business — was formed in 1986 to help reduce vehicle thefts in the state.

Community Spotlight: Kids’ Food Basket

Your snow day starts here

Kids’ Food Basket (KFB) is a local nonprofit organization addressing childhood hunger to help young people learn and live well. KFB began over a decade ago by serving 125 kids each school day through the Sack Supper program. KFB is now serving almost 7,000 kids each weekday in West Michigan. Sack Suppers are evening meals that provide a well-rounded nutritious meal —nutrition that’s critical to the development of kids’ brains and bodies. Sack Suppers are distributed within classrooms or at local parks, meaning every child who needs one can get one easily and safely.

My staff and I recently spent some time at KFB helping prepare some trail mix to be included in the sacks.

For more information on Kids’ Food Basket and how to volunteer or donate, please visit http://www.kidsfoodbasket.org/.

 

School Tour Groups

School Groups
Almost every week, I have the privilege of welcoming students from the Grand Rapids area to the Michigan capitol building. During their visit, I always try to welcome them and take a quick photo. To see these pictures, please visit this page on my website.
 

Contact Senator Hildenbrand’s Office

Senator Dave Hildenbrand
P.O. Box 30036
Lansing, MI 48909-7536

Toll-Free: (866) 305-2129 or (517) 373-1801

www.SenatorDaveHildenbrand.com

Email: SenDHildenbrand@senate.michigan.gov.  Please include name, address, and phone number.

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The purpose of this E-Newsletter is to provide a timely update of Senator Hildenbrand's activity at the State Capitol to the residents and organizations of the 29th Senate District. Electronic newsletters will only be sent out on a monthly basis. You will not be inundated with e-mails.