Senator Dave Hildenbrand E-Newsletter
 

JULY 2017

2017-18 state budget finalized in June, marking the 7th year in a row of completing the budget early

The 2017-18 budget builds on our commitment to improving Michigan and investing in key priorities. The budget once again increases state funding for schools to record levels, enhances public health and safety, and invests more in our roads and bridges, while making government more efficient and effective with taxpayer dollars.

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Senators honor Vietnam War Veterans

On Monday, June 19th , Senators Hildenbrand, MacGregor, and Kowall sponsored a formal Vietnam veteran lapel pinning ceremony commemorating the 50-year anniversary of the war.

The Senators presented Vietnam War Commemorative War Pins and personally thanked over 100 residents of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans for their courageous service to our country.

Senator Hildenbrand backs legislation to reform election recount fee

After last year’s presidential election, a candidate petitioned for a statewide recount despite receiving only 1.07 percent of the vote in Michigan. While the courts stopped the recount before it was completed, many local governments were concerned that the actual costs of the process, including costs for rent, overtime, travel and security, were exceeding their reimbursement from the recount fee.

Senator Hildenbrand supported legislation that would increase this fee if a candidate lost an election by over 5 percent of the vote. The bill would increase the fee from $125 per precinct to $250 at that margin and remain at $125 if the margin was 5 percent or less and at $25 if the margin was within 0.5 percent of the winner.

The proposed reform protects the right of a candidate to pursue a recount yet protects taxpayers as well. A candidate who loses an election by a significant amount of the vote and wants a recount should be responsible for the actual costs.

Senate Bill 290 has been sent to the House for consideration.

Bike safety on the road

Many people enjoy biking on neighborhood streets and busier roadways during the warm summer months, so it’s important that both motorists and bicyclists keep bicyclist safety tips in mind.

Motorists are reminded that bicyclists are permitted to ride on most roadways in the state. Drivers must take care to “share the road” when driving, and exercise caution when approaching bicyclists. As legal roadway users, bicyclists are required to obey all traffic laws, signs, and signals. A bicyclist traveling at less than the existing speed of traffic should ride as close as possible to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway.

Last year, there were 1,959 reported crashes involving bicyclists in Michigan that resulted in 1,563 injuries and 38 fatalities. According to the Michigan State Police, the number of fatal crashes involving bicyclists is disproportionately high compared to other roadway users.

Find more bicycling information, including “What Every Michigan Driver Should Know About Bike Lanes,” at www.michigan.gov/mdot-biking.

Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to 2017-18 Michigan Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Mr. Luke Wilcox, the 2017-18 Michigan Teacher of the Year!

Mr. Wilcox is a Grand Rapids resident who has taught Mathematics at East Kentwood High School since 2001.

The Michigan Teacher of the Year is selected by a committee, which reviews nominees from teachers throughout Michigan.

Senator Hildenbrand supports bill to allow electronic vehicle registration

Like any piece of paper, vehicle registration certificates can be easily lost or misplaced.

Senator Hildenbrand 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’s 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.

Senator Hildenbrand backs STEM, in-demand jobs bills

Thousands of jobs in Michigan go unfilled due to a shortage of trained workers.

Senator Hildenbrand recently supported legislation that would help close the gap in the number of skilled Michigan workers available to fill in-demand jobs. Many of the high-skilled jobs are in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Senate Bill 344 would allow a student to receive a STEM endorsement as an incentive to take more STEM classes. The endorsement would highlight their accomplishments and give them a competitive advantage in landing a high-paying STEM career.

Senate Bill 343 would require schools to provide students with the most recent available analysis of in-demand jobs in their local region. By providing high school students with information about in-demand jobs and growing careers in their area, students could take the appropriate classes to develop the skills needed in order to qualify for these jobs.

The legislation would provide another important tool to help fill Michigan jobs with Michigan residents. The bills have been sent to the House for consideration.

MDOT 2017 construction map now available

The 2017 Paving the Way state construction map is now available online at www.michigan.gov/mdotmaps. The map details the major road repairs scheduled this season on state highways and trunklines, along with the construction dates.

2017-2018 A Citizen’s Guide to State Government

The Citizen’s Guide serves as a useful reference tool in assisting constituents in staying in touch with their elected officials. Specific information is provided on the geographic location of both congressional and state districts, as well as state legislative committee assignments.

To view and online version of A Citizen’s Guide to State Government, please visit http://www.legislature.mi.gov/Publications/CitGuide-2017_WEB.pdf, or contact my office either by email SenDHildenbrand@senate.michigan.gov or by phone (866) 305-2129 and I will be happy to mail you a copy.

 

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.